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  • The federal government subsidizes the Pennsylvania unemployment benefits program. For Pennsylvania to continue receiving this subsidy it must abide to federal unemployment program requirements, such as having a worker profiling and reemployment service system. This applies to all states. In Pennsylvania this program is called the Profile Reemployment Program, or PREP. This article will discuss what the Profile Reemployment Program is, how it can help you, and what you must do to benefit from the services it offers.

    PREP What is it for?

    The Pennsylvania Profile Reemployment Program is designed to spot unemployed workers who are likely to exhaust their benefits before finding a job; and help them receive the training and assistance they need. If you are tagged as an unemployed worker that fits the profile PREP is designed to filter for, you must complete the program and fulfill any requirements set by the program. If you fail to take part in the programs and activities arranged by the PREP program, you may be found ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.

    If you are asked to attend a meeting or workshop organized by PREP and you cannot attend, call the Pennsylvania Career Link office listed on the letter you receive and reschedule to a date you are available. Remember that while you are receiving your benefits you are claiming to be willing and able to work, so claiming you are too busy to attend a job search program may jeopardize you benefits claim.

    PREP Process

    The PREP program has seven service strategies in place to assist Pennsylvania unemployed workers who are at risk of exhausting their unemployment services. These are: 1) PREP Call-In, 2) PA CareerLink System Enrollment, 3) PREP Orientation, 4) Assessment of PREP participants, 5) Supportive Services, 6) Remedial Training and 7) Case Management of Participants.

    In 2010 and 2011, 75% of unemployed workers within the selection pool of the program were called in. That number is set to increase for 2012.


    The main benefit PREP gives unemployed workers is an opportunity to qualify for free work training, learn about relevant workshops and available funding. This allows unemployed workers to improve their resume and increase their chances of finding a job. The program also provides workers with practical methods and techniques which will help them in their job search. The program also ensures all participants are enrolled in the PA CareerLink website, which is a requirement to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits.

    People who stopped filing for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania because they found a job need to follow a different process than unemployed workers who file for the first time. If you filed for benefits this year but stopped for a time, you may be able to reopen your claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. This article will discuss some important information you must understand before you reopen your claim and provide clear instruction on how to contact the unemployment office and get your unemployment benefits started as restarted as soon as possible.

    Act Quickly

    If the reason you stopped filing for unemployment is that you found a job and you are again without employment you should reopen your claim without delay: the first week you are unemployed. This is crucial. If you take to long to reopen your claim you could lose eligibility altogether. On the other hand, if the reason you stopped claiming for unemployment benefits is you were not able to work, because you were sick, in hospital or otherwise not available for work, you should file to reopen your case as soon as you are available.

    The Process

    Reopening a case may allow you to receive your benefits faster because you may be able to sidestep some of the red tape required to file your initial claim. However, this does not mean you are automatically eligible for benefits. For instance, if you left your job voluntarily, you may no longer qualify for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania.

    Contact Methods

    There are three main methods to contact the Department of Labor and Industry of Pennsylvania with reference to reopening your case. You may reapply online by visiting the “new claim link” on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry website. This should probably be your method of choice to reopen your claim. Reopening a claim online is free and the website is open 24 hours a day, seven days week.

    You may also contact the division by phone on 888-313-7284. However the opening hours for this service are seven in the morning to six thirty in the evening (7 a.m to 6:30 pm). Another option is to send the application by snail mail (you can download the document here) or fax I to the unemployment compensation service center you plan to visit.

    People who communicate with American Sign Language may also apply over a videophone service from 12 a.m to 4 p.m. by calling 717-704-8474

    Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate during the last few months has provided a complex and sometimes ambiguous view of the work market. If you have been following the news on unemployment during the last few months, you have probably noticed a flurry of confusing reports: some announcing a significant improvement in the employment market while others spelling impending disaster. This article will focus on the unemployment in Pennsylvania and attempt to clarify what the data has to say about the chances unemployed workers in Pennsylvania have to find a job in the near future.

    Let’s start with the data.

    The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania for February was 7.6 percent, the same as January, which was only a tenth of a percent lower than for December.

    However, Pennsylvania is generating thousands of new jobs, so why isn’t unemployment falling any faster. The answer to that question is closely linked to how the unemployment rate is calculated. Notice that unemployment figures don’t count everybody without a job. After all, many people don’t work because they don’t need to, can’t or don’t want to. These jobless people are not included in the unemployment figures. However, when the “mood” of the employment market changes it can cause people to change their attitude and start having an effect on the employment numbers.

    Last month the labor force increased by more than 6,000 people. This means 6,000 more people were in the business of working or looking for work, so although the number of unemployed dropped by only 3,000, the number of people who found a job in February was much higher. One explanation for this is that many people, encouraged by economic growth, have started looking for work again.

    The bad news is that this trend has only started. Unemployment rates are currently artificially low because many workers simply stopped looking for work and therefore were not included in the statistics used to calculate unemployment. According to estimates published by the Department of Labor and Industry of Pennsylvania, the labor force will continue to grow as people who had previously given up on finding a job return to the workforce.

    The industries reporting the largest growth are the service sector, which added 8,500 jobs and the professional and business services which added 7,000 new positions. Government jobs were also up by some 2,300 jobs, but still down by 17,800 from February 2011.

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