Adjustment Assistance Under the Trade Act of 1974 to Pennsylvania Apparel Workers Often Has Been Untimely and Inaccurate

HRD-78-53: Published: May 9, 1978. Publicly Released: May 9, 1978.

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Adjustment assistance benefits which the Department of Labor provided to workers laid off in the apparel industry in Pennsylvania were evaluated. As of March 31, 1977, apparel workers comprised the second largest single product line group certified for adjustment assistance under the Trade Act of 1974. The worker adjustment assistance program is administered through state employment security agencies. Workers whom the Department of Labor certifies as eligible to apply to state employment security agencies for benefits because their jobs were affected by imports can receive: (1) weekly cash trade readjustment allowances; (2) employment services such as counseling, training, testing, and placement; (3) job search allowances; and (4) relocation allowances.

The Department of Labor certified 8,815 apparel workers in Pennsylvania as eligible to apply for work adjustment assistance. Benefits received were generally in the form of trade readjustment allowances; few workers received other types of services or allowances. From April 1975 to March 31, 1977, Pennsylvania workers received about $3.8 million in trade readjustment allowance benefits in addition to unemployment compensation payments. Payments to Pennsylvania apparel workers were generally untimely and, in many instances, inaccurate. Ninety-nine percent of the initial payments were not made within the Department's 3-week processing time criterion. A sample of applicant payment records showed that 45 percent of payments were inaccurate. Applicants took little advantage of such benefits as training, counseling, and job search and relocation allowances; apparently, this was because many were still working part-time.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should closely monitor the Pennsylvania trade adjustment assistance payment system to ensure that benefit payments are correct and timely in the future.

    Agency Affected:

 

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