San Diego Union-Tribune -- What it does: Renews a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers, who will continue to receive additional money in their paychecks through 2012.
Local effect: California is expected to be one of the states receiving the 73-week benefits. With an unemployment rate of 11.1 percent in December 2011, the state ranks second in joblessness, behind Nevada, where unemployment was 12.6 percent. The local jobless rate was 8.9 percent in December. Nationally the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in January. While it is still considered a much-needed benefit for the unemployed, the shorter period of coverage may convince those out of work to accept lower-paying jobs than they might have previously considered, said University of San Diego economics professor Norm Miller.
“I think this puts more pressure on those who are on the margin to find jobs or take lower paying jobs than they’d like,” he said. “Because we’re a higher cost-of-living location, it’s been a little harder for people to accept lower-paying jobs and now they’ll have less of a choice.” (Full Story)