Schumer outlines legislation to help unemployed

PLATTSBURGH - There's a new law that aims to put people to work and help give businesses a break at the same time.

During a visit to the NovaBus manufacturing facility in Plattsburgh March 30, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the recent signing of legislation into law by President Barack Obama that now provides tax incentives to companies that hire people unemployed for 60 days or more.

Schumer co-sponsored the Hire Now Tax Cut Act of 2010 with U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in an effort to put aside partisan politics for a common goal, he said.

"The number one issue facing people in the North Country and America is jobs," said the senator. "In the North Country it's even worse. One out of every 10 people is looking for work."

The North Country's unemployment rate is more than 10 percent - higher than the state average of nearly 9 percent - and is alarming, said Schumer.

"We have to do everything we can to put people back to work," he said.

The new law, explained Schumer, will provide businesses of any size that hire eligible workers with a Social Security payroll tax exemption, which amounts to 6.2 percent.

"So, if you hire someone making $30,000 a year, you save $2,000. If you hire someone making $60,000 a year, you'll save $4,000. If you hire someone making $100,000 a year, you'll save over $6,000," said Schumer. "It goes all the way up the spectrum."

The most important thing, said Schumer, is that the credit - which is funded by leftover economic stimulus money - is available immediately.

"If tomorrow, NovaBus were to hire five people," Schumer said, referring to qualifying workers, "they would stop paying the payroll tax for all five of those people."

"It's not going to solve everything, that's for sure," Schumer added. "But, at least it's going to encourage companies ... it will be a little cheaper to hire them with this credit."

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