Department of Industrial Relations, Alabama

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The Department of Industrial Relations is an agency in Alabama.

The purpose of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) is to provide employment services and improve the business climate for Alabama employers. The department is comprised of five divisions with the mission of improving the quality of life of Alabamians: Employment Service (ES), Unemployment Compensation (UC), Workers' Compensation (WC), Labor Market Information (LMI), and Mining and Reclamation

The DIR partners with the state's Career Center System, which provides employment and training services as per the Workforce Investment Act.[1]

Budget

As of September 2011, budget information for the department did not seem to be available on the DIR website, but could be accessed on the State of Alabama website.[2]

Program Actual FY 2010 Budgeted FY 2011 Requested FY 2012 Increase/(Decrease) From Prior Year Amount (Percent) Governor's Recommendation FY 2012
Employment Security Program $65,200,815 $78,892,355 $64,560,165 ($14,332,190) (18.17) -
Administrative Services Program $12,877,682 $18,900,151 $15,848,416 (3,051,735) (16.15) -
Small Business Program $32,494 $250,105 $251,204 $1,099 (.44) -
Industrial Safety and Accident Prevention Program $6,455,410 $10,097,379 $10,656,535 $559,156 (5.54) -
Regulation Workers Compensation Program $4,600,934 $5,950,853 $6,086,206 $135,353 (2.27) -
Total Expenditures $89,167,335 $114,090,843 $97,402,526 ($16,688,317) (14.63) $95,885,858

Total Budget for Past Five Years

Fiscal Year Total Expenditures
Fiscal Year 2011 $101,254,438
Fiscal Year 2010 $90,954,390
Fiscal Year 2009 $90,232,610
Fiscal Year 2008 $85,656,545
Fiscal Year 2007 $90,643,832

The DIR also received funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).[3] Information about DIR distribution of ARRA funds is provided on the department website.

Funding Received Through the Stimulus Program

Program Amount Allocated
Expansion of Trade Adjustment Assistance Program $9,961,731
Extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program $178,200,000 est.
Increase in Unemployment Compensation Benefits $75,375,000 est.
Special Transfer for Unemployment Compensation Administration $7,177,000
State Unemployment Insurance and Employment Service Operations $5,093,000
Interest Free Loan for Trust Fund Deficit $270,459,207
LMI Improvement Grant - Green Jobs $1,145,210.00

Stimulus Funding Cumulative Report

ARRA Dollars Awarded ARRA Dollars Received ARRA Dollars Expended Jobs Created Jobs Retained
$30,225,054 $21,486,341 $22,593,252 706 -

Programs

The DIR manages the state's unemployment services. Through the department website, unemployed workers can file Unemployment Compensation (UC) claims, file Weekly Claim Certifications, view 1099-G Tax Document Information, and file for High Unemployment Extended Benefits Compensation.[4] The department also posts Alabama unemployment data.[5]

As of April 30 2011, unemployment insurance claim statistics are as follows:[5]

Category Current Month Prior Month Year-Ago Month Prior Month (Percent Change) Year-Ago Month (Percent Change)
Initial Claims 24,498 23,890 24,534 2.5 -0.1
Weeks Claimed 155,407 164,683 206,689 -5.6 -24.8
Beneficiaries 45,074 49,596 57,586 -9.1 -21.7
Number of Payments 132,863 175,037 180,225 -24.1 -26.3
Weeks Paid 138,274 182,011 188,376 -24.0 -26.6
Amount Paid $28,118,093 $37,114,701 $38,785,715 -24.2 -27.5
Average Payment - Total Unemployment $207.20 $206.88 $208.91 0.2 -0.8
Mid-month Insurance Unemployment Rate 2.4 2.4 3.1 XXX XXX
Non-month Determinations 6,653 7,546 7,218 -13.4 -7.8
Appeals Decisions 1,797 1,867 2,896 3.7 -37.9
New Claims 16,930 16,161 17,673 4.8 -4.2
Additional Claims 7,568 7,729 6,861 -2.1 10.3

Information regarding worker's compensation and unemployment claims for both employees and employers was also provided.[6][7] The DIR also offers new hire search services and labor market information (wages and salaries) for Alabama businesses.

The website also advertises job fairs and revelant public events for jobseekers.[8]

The DIR also administers the "Operation Grateful Heart" program, which provides assistance to military personnel reentering the workforce and setting up health benefits.[9]

Transparency

The site was last evaluated September 2011.

Phone numbers were provided for divisions and services, but email addresses for administrators and direct phone numbers were not posted.[10]

Annual Reports through 2009 were posted.[11]

Public records request information did not seem to be available.

Information about recognizing and reporting fraud was provided.[12] A link to the Stimulus Fraud Abuse site on the State of Alabama website was also posted.[3]

The department's requests for proposals were posted. Vendor contracts and information for the department does not seem to be posted.[13]

Unemployment

Alabama was one of three states that saw an increase in unemployment rates in April 2011. The rate increased a tenth of a percentage point, rising to 9.3 percent. This does not include the impact of job losses resulting from the April 27th tornadoes, which caused approximately $6 billion in damages and thousands of job losses, many temporary due to business closures. Department of Industrial Relations spokesperson Tara Hutchinson noted that more than 5,600 persons applied for unemployment benefits because of the storm.[14]

External links

References