New formula aims to improve states' funding to help jobless

A new formula is expected to streamline the way states receive funding for a program that helps workers who lose their jobs or have hours and wages cut because of increased imports, the Labor Department said Friday. 

The change to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which was required under the stimulus law, provides training, job search, relocation services, income support and other reemployment help. 

The rule, the first substantive change to the law in 15 years, provides states with a predictable level of funding, allows for additional spending and increases training funding from the previous limit of $220 million a fiscal year to $575 million. 

"This funding approach responds more quickly and effectively to states' needs than the formula previously used," the Labor Department said in a release. 

Under the rule, personnel funded under the TAA providing services and benefits to workers covered by certifications must be covered by a merit system of personnel administration. 

The rule goes into effect May 3 and states have until Dec. 15 to comply with merit staffing requirements. 

For more information on the rule, click here.