Labor chief lauds job-saving effort -

Labor chief lauds job-saving effort

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Missouri's Labor Department director says the Shared Work Program has saved over 37,000 jobs in the state, and saved the state money, too.

Larry Rebman made those comments Thursday during a visit in St. Louis.

The program is offered as alternative to layoffs to employers facing a reduction in available work. Employees receive a portion of unemployment benefits while working reduced hours.

Rebman says 461 employers are participating.

The Missouri Division of Employment Security paid $12.4 million in Shared Work benefits in fiscal 2009. Labor Department officials say that if all of the workers had been laid off, they would have received nearly $46 million in benefits.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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