Arkansas Employment

Security Department

2002 Annual Report

"An Equal Opportunity Employer"

 

From the Director

Ed Rolle

The Department of Workforce Services's vision to be the premier provider of employment services has grown with each passing year. New technology has made our tasks more efficient, our staff continues to train, and the citizens of the state are expecting that we, as an agency, will continue to evolve.

Based on the agency's many accomplishments in 2002, however, we have made great progress, and more citizens of Arkansas are turning to us for services. We let our many accomplishments speak for themselves.

The agency received two grants from the U.S. Department of Labor for automation projects totaling more than $835,000. One grant will go toward upgrading the Internet Employer Tax and Wage Reporting System, where employers file and report their quarterly taxes. This grant money will develop automated interfaces between the agency's mainframe system and the Internet system employers use.

The other grant will be used to develop the Employer Online Registration System that will allow a new business to complete a Status Report form online. This will instantly give the employer his tax rate and account number, saving time and money for both him and the agency. DWS is excited about these projects as we take another step toward improving e-government services.

Also during 2002, DWS's new Intranet claims processing system was introduced to all of our local offices. This is new technology for the agency, as it replaces the mainframe-based system and is the predecessor to the Internet application that will allow self-service claim filing directly by claimants. It provides new features, including a mass-layoff function, and is user-friendly.

Implementing the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002, which became law on March 9, was another great accomplishment. In less than a week, agency staff began mailing notices to about 48,000 people who met the criteria for extended benefits.

These are just a few of the things the agency accomplished during 2002. The rest of this annual report, which is based on calendar year 2002 (January 1 to December 31, 2002), highlights others. For a more detailed report, go to our Web site at www.arkansas.gov/esd.

All of these successes would not be possible without dedicated, hard-working employees who continue to strive toward excellence. You can see them each day, doing their best to make sure the needs of the citizens of this state are met. Stop by and let one of them help you!

Workforce Development System

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 created a comprehensive workforce investment system designed to help Americans access the tools they need to manage their careers and to help U.S. companies find skilled workers through a one-stop delivery system.

In Arkansas, the one-stop system has been implemented by establishing one-stop centers known as Arkansas Workforce Centers. Each workforce center is a partnership of agencies where veterans, adults, youth, and dislocated workers may receive skills assessment services, information on employment and training opportunities, information on filing unemployment insurance claims, job search and placement assistance, and up-to-date information on job vacancies. One of the required one-stop partners is the Department of Workforce Services's Employment Service. Employment Service provides public labor exchange services to assist job seekers in finding jobs and employers in finding qualified workers as required by the federal Wagner-Peyser Act.

In recent years, the method of providing public labor exchange services has changed from providing one-on-one services to "tiered" services. These include Internet/self-service, group services, and one-on-one services. DWS provides resources to accomplish the three-tiered labor exchange service strategy in the workforce centers, including self-service, facilitated self-service, and staff-assisted service.

In addition, WIA Title I formula funds are allocated to each of the 10 Local Workforce Investment Areas in Arkansas. These funds are used to provide "tiered" services, including Core, Intensive, and Training services through the one-stop delivery system. The accompanying tables provide information on various Employment Service activities and WIA participation data on individuals served, employed, and exited for calendar years 2001 and 2002.

At the workforce centers, self-service for job seekers is available on the Internet via Arkansas' Job Bank and Arkansas' Talent Bank, which allow self-directed job search and the submittal of online résumés, respectively. Self-service for employers is also available via the AJB and the ATB, where employers may self-enter job openings and review résumés. Workforce center staff provide help-as-needed to ensure that job seekers can access AJB and ATB at self-service personal computers, as well as other Internet job search options.

Labor market information is available to assist customers with making career choices that involve training or education. Other software is available to allow résumé preparation, learning word processing skills, increasing personal computer literacy, and access to telephone and fax for contacting prospective employers.

For job-seeking customers who want staff assistance, workforce center staff enter employment applications into the online Employment Service operation/reporting system where they can be matched by staff with online job orders. Staff-assisted service also includes direct job referral, job development, referral to supportive services, provision of specific labor market information, and referral to educational institutions. Staff-assisted service to employers is available in the form of job order preparation and entry into AJB. Staff also screen and refer job applicants according to the specifications of each job order.

Employment Services
2001
2002
New Applicants & Renewals
188,313
193,373
Referral to Supportive Services
34,186
36,939
Referral to Employment
96,125
99,413
Entered Employment
31,814
31,382
Assessment Interview
8,538
4,223
Tested
970
654
Referred to Educational Services
1,740
2,130
Job Search Workshop
1,596
1,499
Résumé Preparation
6,360
4,074
Specific Labor Market Information
135,716
115,478
Job Service Automated Labor Exchange
5,623
7,213
Vocational Guidance
3,299
2,954
Job Orders Received
23,298
19,581
Job Openings Received
65,847
52,884
Job Openings Filled
32,696
24,654

WIA Participation (Statewide Results)

Employed
2001
2002
Adult:
298
496
Dislocated Worker:
255
179
Older Youth:
50
49

(This chart shows the number of WIA participants who exited the program during the 2001 and 2002 calendar years and who were employed by the first quarter after their exit.)

WIA Participation (Statewide Results)

Served
2001
2002
Adult:
3,792
3,909
Dislocated Worker:
1,914
1,784
Older Youth:
730
664
Younger Youth:
2,604
2,779
(This chart shows the number of WIA participants who were served during the 2001 and 2002 calendar years.)

WIA Participation (Statewide Results)
Exiters
2001
2002
Adult:
688
968
Dislocated Worker:
426
328
Older Youth:
210
126
Younger Youth:
476
523

(This chart shows the number of WIA participants who left the program during the 2001 and 2002 calendar years.)

Employment Assistance

The Office of Employment Assistance includes the Workforce Development Unit, Employment Services Technical Unit, Alien Labor Certification Unit, and Dislocated Worker/Trade Adjustment Assistance Unit.

The Workforce Development Unit is responsible for the Workforce Investment Act, including national emergency programs (large layoffs or closures and disaster assistance), and Welfare-to-Work programs.

The unit monitors programs for compliance with the WIA and WtW Act and regulations. It also provides technical assistance, training, program, and policy guidance to local Workforce Investment Areas.

• • •

The Employment Services Technical Unit assists management in developing methods to carry out program responsibilities by providing technical assistance in all Employment Service programs. This includes Labor Exchange, Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credits, Federal Bonding and Veterans Programs. The unit also provides training to all Employment Service staff, equipping them in various aspects of their job, such as proper occupational classification, interviewing skills, the selection and referral process, utilizing computer-generated reports, and the self-service process.

• • •

The Dislocated Worker/Trade Adjustment Assistance Unit receives and processes the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notices. The unit conducts Rapid Response activities for the Governor's Dislocated Worker Task Force for business closures and layoffs. It also oversees, plans, and coordinates all activities associated with the state's responsibility in administering the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. This includes approving requests for benefits, payment of invoices, and providing training and technical assistance statewide.

• • •

The Alien Labor Certification Unit provides services to attorneys, employers, and aliens for any job to be performed in Arkansas. The unit processes the labor certification application that is filed by the employer on behalf of the alien who wishes to gain labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. Applications are prepared and turned over to the Department of Labor for a decision.

Prior to submitting the applications to the Department of Labor, the employer is required to recruit U.S. workers through sources such as newspapers, professional journals, internal postings, job fairs, and colleges and universities. Among other duties as DWS's program operations manager for the Alien Labor Certification Unit, David Hayes advises employers of sources to use to advertise job offers.

Labor Market Information

The Labor Market Information (LMI) section is responsible for gathering and analyzing data that is used to describe a local area's economic picture. Labor market information is the activity of collecting, analyzing, and reporting on labor supply and demand relationships within an area. The LMI section produces specialized products and services for private businesses, educational and governmental entities, and private citizens within Arkansas. The LMI section is comprised of two independent units: the Occupational Career Information and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Units.

Occupational Career Information Unit - This unit develops, produces, and disseminates statistics and information that include long-term and short-term state and local industrial and occupational employment projections, occupational career orientation products, America's Labor Market Information System, the Workforce Investment Act Eligible Training Provider Certification Program, a yearly occupational and wage survey, staffing patterns, a Career Inventory Delivery System (called ArkOSCAR), and the Estimates Delivery System. A major focus of the unit is to provide information to assist individuals in identifying and preparing for careers.

1. State and Local Occupational and Industry Projections. These projections consist of two programs: short-term and long-term. The long-term projections are produced as a 10-year forecast of both occupations and industries. They are updated biennially. The short-term projections program is similar to the long-term and produces a two-year forecast instead of 10-year for occupations and industries. It is updated annually.

2. Occupational Career Orientation. This program consists of the development and use of career information publications that include workshop presentations on new and innovative career tools. Examples include the Career Watch Magazine, Directory of Licensed Occupations, The Future Awaits, U.S. Department of Labor career video library series, and the Career Inventory Delivery System known as ArkOSCAR.

3. America's Labor Market Information System. A U.S. Department of Labor initiative, this is a database structure for the storage, maintenance and dissemination of labor market, economic, and demographic information. Arkansas' version ("Discover Arkansas") disseminates Arkansas data through the Department of Workforce Services's Web site.

4. WIA Eligible Training Provider Program. Known as the Arkansas Consumer Reporting System (ACRS), this program contains a list of all training providers in the state and contains the seamless automated system for Eligible Training Providers to become certified under the Workforce Investment Act. The system takes into consideration the occupations that are most likely to offer enough opportunities for employment to make training worthwhile.

5. Occupational Employment Statistics. Funded by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, DWS employees conduct a biyearly survey that provides occupational employment and wage estimates for the state and its Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Through this program, DWS is able to determine estimated mean and median hourly and annual wages for the occupations found within the state.

6. Estimates Delivery System. EDS is a program utilizing the OES wage survey data to produce customized occupational and wage information for a specific area, as defined by the customer.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Unit (BLS) - This unit is responsible for the assemblage and conveyance of information under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Its work also includes preparing and publishing monthly newsletters and reports. The BLS Unit is responsible for four program areas: Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (CES), Covered Employment and Wages (ES-202), and the Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) Program.

1. Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS). The LAUS program provides monthly estimates of labor force, employment, and unemployment rates for the state, metropolitan areas, and other areas. The LAUS program uses data from the Current Population Survey, administrative data from the unemployment insurance system, and employment estimates from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program and Covered Employment and Wages (ES-202) report.

2. Current Employment Statistics. The CES program is a monthly payroll survey of business establishments. CES provides current estimates of employment, hours worked, and earnings.

3. Covered Employment and Wages (ES-202). The ES-202 program provides data on monthly employment, total quarterly wages, taxable wages, and employer contributions. Since 1972, BLS has shared ES-202 data with the Bureau of Economic Analysis. On a quarterly basis, the BEA uses ES-202 data to develop county, state, regional, and national personal income estimates, a component of the Gross Domestic Product, and to conduct related statistical research and analysis.

4. Mass Layoff Statistics. The MLS program is a standardized, automated approach to identifying, describing, and tracking the impact of major permanent job cutbacks. The data collected in this program provide detailed information on these cutbacks and the resultant unemployment registered at the state and area levels. This system generates a summary report for monthly submittal and a more comprehensive report for quarterly submittal.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) Program

The Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program is a federal-state cooperative effort in which monthly estimates of total employment and unemployment are prepared for approximately 6,800 areas:

• Census regions and divisions.

• States.

• Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

• Nonmetropolitan labor market areas.

• Counties and county equivalents.

• Cities of 25,000 population or more.

• Cities and towns in New England regardless of population.

These estimates are key indicators of local economic conditions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for the concepts, definitions, technical procedures, validation, and publication of the estimates that state employment security agencies prepare under agreement with BLS. A wide variety of customers use these estimates.

Federal programs use the data for allocations to states and areas, as well as eligibility determinations for assistance.

State and local governments use the estimates for planning and budgetary purposes and to determine the need for local employment and training services.

Private industry, researchers, the media, and other individuals use the data to assess localized labor market developments and make comparisons across areas.

The concepts and definitions underlying LAUS data come from the Current Population Survey (CPS). This household survey is the official measure of the labor force for the nation. Annual average data for all states, the District of Columbia, New York City, and the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area are derived directly from the CPS. Monthly estimates for these areas are produced using estimating equations based on regression techniques. These models combine current and historical data from the CPS, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) Program, and state unemployment insurance systems.

Estimates for substate labor market areas are produced through a building-block approach known as the "Handbook Method." This procedure also uses data from several sources, including the CPS, the CES program, state unemployment insurance systems, and the decennial census to create estimates that are adjusted to the statewide measures of employment and unemployment. Below the labor market area level, estimates are prepared using disaggregation techniques based on inputs from the decennial census, annual population estimates, and current UI data.

Unemployment Insurance

During this country's Depression Era, President Franklin D. Roosevelt prevailed on Congress to pass the Social Security Act of 1935 as part of his "New Deal" legislative program.

This program established a joint federal-state system of unemployment insurance, offering the first economic line of defense against the effects of unemployment. By payments to laid-off workers, it ensured that at least a portion of the necessities of life (food, shelter, and clothing) could be obtained while a search for work took place.

The Employment and Training Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for administering the law, although each state has its own unemployment insurance laws and operates its own program. Over the years, Congress has extended the program to many workers who were not initially covered. By 1994, more than 96 percent of all workers in the United States were covered by unemployment insurance.

The Social Security Act of 1935, amended many times, provides for a sliding scale of payroll taxes for the nation's employers. In other words, employers whose records show that their businesses experience little employee turnover receive lower rates. The taxes collected are used to fund the payment of unemployment benefits to those unemployed workers who qualify.

Together the Federal Unemployment Tax Act and the Social Security Act established the framework for administering and financing the unemployment insurance system. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act generally determines covered employment and imposes certain requirements on state programs, but states generally determine individual qualification requirements, eligibility, weekly benefit amounts, and the duration of benefits.

In the federal-state system of unemployment insurance established in this country under the Social Security Act, the individual states have been free to develop the particular program that seems best suited to conditions prevailing within the state. Consequently, no two states' unemployment insurance laws are alike.

The unemployment insurance weekly benefit amount is approximately 50 percent of an average worker's wage earned during the base period of the unemployment claim but cannot exceed the maximum benefit allowed by the state. The intent of the program is to provide short-term assistance for unemployed workers until they become employed again.

During the 2002 calendar year, Arkansas paid 1,499,997 weeks of total and partial unemployment benefits, with $211.97 being the average weekly benefit amount.

The original plan to help the unemployed with a weekly benefit payment has evolved over the years to include many other services. Even though every state has its own unique program, they all share a common goal - to provide a means of income and help to become re-employed.

• • •

 

Arkansas' Unemployment Insurance program provides help to workers, businesses, and communities that have been affected by lost jobs and payrolls.

Workers who have sufficient earnings in covered employment can qualify for weekly benefits, which help them to withstand the financial and emotional impact of unemployment.

Benefit payments also help the community by delaying the full monetary impact of major business closures and/or mass layoffs.

Regular Unemployment Insurance
2001
2002
Initial Claims
283,712
259,725
Weeks of Unemployment Claimed
1,865,198
1,980,089
Weeks of Unemployment Compensated
1,385,832
1,499,998
Amount Compensated
$292,265,783.53
$323,494,359.56
Monetary Determinations
152,954
162,232
Nonmonetary Determinations
68,412
74,393
Appeals Decisions
12,605
15,282
Active Employers, December 31
59,757
60,668

 

Weekly Benefit Amount
2001
2002
Minimum Weekly Benefit Amount
$57 & $60
$60 & $62
Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount
$321 & $333
$333 & $345
The minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts change for benefit years beginning on July 1 of each calendar year. Minimum benefit amounts are 12 percent, and maximum benefit amounts are 66 2/3 percent of the previous year's average weekly wage.

• • •

The unemployment insurance claims process involves several steps. When a new claim is filed, a determination must be made as to whether there are sufficient wages from which to draw benefits. If the worker is monetarily eligible, benefit payments can be made as long as they are otherwise qualified.

Issues arise which, if valid, result in the postponement or elimination of payments. When any issue is discovered during the claims process, an investigation is made. DWS gathers facts to determine whether benefit payments should continue. This process is called the nonmonetary determination process.

Following the nonmonetary determination, a written decision is rendered. It contains a summary of the section of the Arkansas Employment Security Law used to decide the issue and presents a statement showing the facts that were considered in the case.

Instructions for filing an appeal also are included. Agency nonmonetary determinations become final if no appeal is filed within the time period allowed.

UI Nonmonetary Determinations
2001
2002
Total Single Claimant Determinations*
68,412
74,393
Total Disqualifications
53,606
100.0%
56,971
100.0%
Disqualifications by Issue
2001
2002

Availability

7,691
14.3%
7,973
14.0%

Voluntary Quit

14,995
28.0%
16,682
29.3%

Misconduct

16,289
30.4%
18,246
32.0%

Refusal to Work

340
0.6%
464
0.8%

Remuneration and Miscellaneous

14,291
26.7%
13,606
23.9%
*Regular Unemployment Insurance

 

Unemployment Benefit Appeals Decisions
2001
2002
Total Single Claimant Appeals Processed
12,605
15,282
Appeal Tribunal (Lower Authority)
10,645
12,912
Board of Review (Higher Authority)
1,960
2,370

• • •

The Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-service members programs are cooperative arrangements between the U.S. Secretary of Labor and the Department of Workforce Services. The UCFE program is for federal civilian employees, and the UCX program is for those who have been honorably discharged or released from serving active military duty.

Federal UI Programs - UCFE & UCX
2001
2002
Federal Employees (UCFE)
Initial Claims
488
627
Weeks of Unemployment Claimed
8,260
8,720
Weeks of Unemployment Compensated
12,827
11,979
Amount Compensated
$2,470,442.00
$2,864,705.00
Ex-service members (UCX)
Initial Claims
124
123
Weeks of Unemployment Claimed
6,182
7,685
Weeks of Unemployment Compensated
6,481
8,101
Amount compensated
$1,855,437.00
$2,595,329.00

• • •

The Trade Adjustment Assistance program is a federally-funded program designed to assist workers adversely affected by foreign competition. This program consists of two parts: Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) [under the Trade Act of 2002, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Trade Act of 1974], and Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).

Under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, workers whose employment is adversely affected by increased imports may apply for TAA. This program assists affected workers with a variety of benefits and re-employment services to help the unemployed workers prepare for and obtain suitable employment. Workers may receive assistance in skills assessment, job search workshops, job development, job referral, and job placement. In addition, workers may be eligible for training, job search allowances, a relocation allowance, and other re-employment services. A weekly Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) may be payable to eligible workers following their exhaustion of unemployment benefits. Usually, TRA benefits will be paid only if an individual is enrolled in a TAA-approved training program.

To qualify for TRA benefits, individuals must be in a TAA-approved training program, have completed a training program approved by TAA, or have a waiver of the training requirement. All rights to unemployment benefits must be exhausted before receiving TRA benefits. Weekly TRA benefits are generally the same amount as the state unemployment benefits received before the individual exhausted rights to such benefits and became eligible for TRA benefits.

The eligibility period for basic TRA benefits is the 104-week period beginning with the first week, which follows the week of the qualifying individual's most recent total separation within the certification period. The maximum amount of TRA benefits that may be received during this period is 52 times the individual's weekly TRA benefit amount minus all entitled unemployment benefits. Up to an additional 26 weeks of TRA benefits may be received if training is applied for within 210 days of the date of the last total or partial separation or within 210 days of the certification date. Such additional weeks must be necessary for the individual to complete an approved training program. Emphasis is placed on helping claimants return to gainful employment.

The North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 created Trade Adjustment Assistance (NAFTA-TAA) for workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of the implementation of NAFTA. NAFTA-TAA covers those cases where production has shifted by the firm or subdivision to Mexico or Canada. All NAFTA-TAA individuals must be in approved TAA training to qualify for TRA benefits.

The Trade Act of 2002 (Public Law No. 107-210) became effective Nov. 4, 2002. This new legislation reauthorizes the TAA program through Sept. 30, 2007, and makes certain changes to the program. The law includes language to extend TAA benefits to: (a) secondary workers - those who work for suppliers or contractors of companies adversely affected by trade; (b) downstream workers who were affected by trade with Mexico or Canada; and (c) certain workers who have been laid off because their firm has shifted its production to another country that has a free trade agreement with the United States, that has a unilaterally preferential trading agreement with the United States, or when there has been or is likely to be an increase in imports or relevant articles.

The Trade Act of 2002 combines the TAA and NAFTA-TAA programs, establishing a single program with a single set of group eligibility criteria and a single set of procedures and standards for filing and reviewing petitions, certifying eligibility, and terminating certification of eligibility.

The accompanying tables provide TRA and TAA data for the NAFTA and Trade Act of 1974 programs for new petitions (companies), participants enrolled in training, and participant costs for Calendar Years 2001 and 2002.

For more information, contact your local Department of Workforce Services office.

Trade Readjustment Allowances
2001
2002
Active Companies, End of Period
29
39
Number of Newly Eligible Individuals
376
339
Weeks of Unemployment Compensated
14,378
6,605
Amount Compensated*
$3,838,410
$1,457,976
*Includes training and transportation costs

 

North American Free Trade Agreement -
Trade Adjustment Assistance
TRAINING BENEFITS
2001
2002
New Petitions Approved by DOL
8
11
New Participant Training Enrollments
144
209
Participant Costs*
$311,250
$448,363
*These costs include Job Search, Relocation, Training, and Travel. Costs do not include Trade Readjustment Allowance payments.

 

Trade Act of 1974 -
Trade Adjustment Assistance
TRAINING BENEFITS
2001
2002
New Petitions Approved by DOL
16
27
New Participant Training Enrollments
464
488
Participant Costs*
$1,017,341
$1,343,689
*These costs include Job Search, Relocation, Training, and Travel. Costs do not include Trade Readjustment Allowance payments.

• • •

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program became law under provision of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. Under this act, the president of the United States determines a major disaster area.

The unemployment of a worker is deemed a result of a major disaster if the worker lived or worked in that area and his unemployment is a direct result of the disaster.

No disaster unemployment assistance was declared during 2002.

Disaster Unemployment Insurance
2001
2002
Workers Filing New Claims
1,172
0
New Workers Eligible
971
0
Amount Drawn
$434,539
$0

Viewers are invited to click on the following link to view Unemployment Insurance statistical data from 1945 through 2002: www.arkansas.gov/esd/General/uihistdata.htm

• • •

Employers provide unemployment insurance coverage for their workers by contributing to the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund.

The regular UI program provides benefits to claimants based on provisions of the Arkansas Employment Security Law.

Most of the benefits received by Arkansas' claimants are paid from the regular UI program. Employers pay contributions based on their payrolls and the difference in the amount they have contributed and the amount of benefits charged to their account in the past.

The amount of each employee's pay that was subject to taxation was $9,000.

• • •

Unemployment Contribution Rates
2001
2002

New Employer Rate (Includes .4% stabilization tax)

3.2%
3.3%

Range of Rates (Includes .4% stabilization tax)

.4% to 6.3%
.5% to 8.4%
Average Tax Rate
1.8%
1.9%

Legal

Calendar year 2002 was an eventful and busy one for the Department of Workforce Services's Legal Department.

More than 270 new cases were referred for criminal prosecution involving paid claims totaling over $614,000. These cases were based on fraudulent misrepresentations in filing claims for unemployment benefits. Although DWS is not seeking to imprison offenders, it is determined to recover funds fraudulently obtained. The courts have been cooperating by imposing fines and ordering defendants to make restitution as a condition of probation. These efforts help protect the integrity of the UI Trust Fund.

In addition to funds recovered as a result of criminal prosecution, Benefit Payment Control collected more than $275,000 by way of state income tax intercepts in payment of prior overpayments. The legal office collected in excess of $157,000 by civil process.

In September, an additional associate general counsel was added to the staff to assist in reducing loss to the Trust Fund because of fraud. He is Conley Meredith. At DWS, he is working to prevent loss to the Trust Fund by perfecting early detection techniques and by ensuring prosecution of those who receive payments as a result of fraudulent misrepresentations.

Associate General Counsels Allan Pruitt and Phyllis Edwards have been especially taxed this year. There were 385 appeals concerning claims for benefits filed to the Arkansas Court of Appeals, a 30 percent increase over those in 2001. Of course DWS continued to deal with issues involving contract and employment law, and much time was spent preparing for the legislative session that began in January 2003.

• • •

 

Personnel

The Department of Workforce Services is a diversified agency with dedicated full-time and intermittent staff.

Likewise, the staff of Personnel Administration is dedicated to providing quality service to its customers, both internal and external. Between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2002, this unit processed approximately 4,720 applications/resumes. There were 61 separations/retirements, 98 new hires/promotions, and countless intermittent hires and separations.

In spite of this fact, the overall staffing level remained relatively constant with an average of 530 permanent employees and 230 intermittent personnel active on the payroll.

Personnel Administration stands ready to assist management and employees with their human resource needs. The delivery of human resource services to management/employees is our business, and we look forward to assisting you.

• • •

New Hire Registry

The Arkansas New Hire Registry owes its success to employers.

Created by Act 1276, the registry collects new hire information for use by state agencies and serves as a liaison between the Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas Department of Human Services, and the Workers' Compensation Commission. It also enters into agreements with state and federal agencies as necessary and acts as a repository and tracking system of newly-hired and returning employees within the state.

The new hire information is used to locate noncustodial parents who owe child support in Arkansas. It is also used to detect and prevent unemployment insurance fraud, workers' compensation fraud, and other types of public assistance fraud.

Employers are the essential link both in locating noncustodial parents and in withholding income from their paycheck. No other child support collection method is as effective as income withholding. Not only does new hire reporting help children, it also helps taxpayers. The lack of child support forces families onto public assistance, which forces taxpayers to meet the delinquent parent's child support obligation.

All Arkansas employers - private, nonprofit, and government - must report all employees who live or work in Arkansas. Out-of-state employers who hire employees who work in Arkansas must report also. The employer must report any employee who fills out a W-4 form, whether full-time, part-time, or student workers.

Employers must report a new hire within 20 days of hiring an employee.

Reports should be sent to the Arkansas New Hire Reporting Center, P.O. Box 2540, Little Rock, AR 72203. For more information about the reporting methods, employers may call the reporting center at (501) 376-2125.

January 1 - December 2002

New Hires
988,032

Parents in arrears who were located

29,195
Employers submitted their new hires:
electronically
74 percent
mail
20 percent
fax
6 percent

• • •

Information Technology Support Unit

The Department of Workforce Services's Information Technology Support Unit plays an essential role in meeting employees' technology needs and making sure the agency stays on the technological bandwagon.

The PC Support Section is one such unit. It is comprised of seven staff members and is primarily responsible for the repair and maintenance of computer equipment and the agency Help Desk. This includes support for more than 700 DWS staff and 1,200 PCs in 50 locations around the state. Personal computers have become so necessary for the agency's staff to carry out their everyday tasks that almost every staff member has a personal computer assigned to him. Any interruption in the operation of his computer means less productivity, which translates into less efficient service for the people he serves.

The DWS Help Desk staff receives more than 40 trouble calls per day. Questions and inquiries to the PC System Support Help Desk may range from restoring simple dial-tone service to solving complex network connectivity problems.

PC Support also works closely with vendors to ensure the agency receives quality computer products and services. One vendor is Gateway Computers Inc. Through the Gateway Authorized Service Provider Program, DWS receives monthly warranty reimbursements for the repair of Gateway Products. In 2002, DWS was reimbursed more than $7,000.

The Application Development Section is another support unit within Information & Technology. Its primary responsibilities are to offer enterprise software solutions that simplify the way people do business and empower users to get their jobs done more easily and accurately. It also provides maintenance support for existing legacy and Web/client-based applications.

This section is comprised of 14 staff members, 12 permanent, and two contractors. The employees offer more than 100 years of application development experience from legacy applications written in COBOL to Web and client server applications written for various platforms.

This section is responsible for the redesign of the agency's Web page, the writing of the interface to the state's accounting systems (AASIS), and enhancements to existing applications to ensure that the unemployed citizens have access to President Bush's extended benefits package.

This section also works with other state and federal agencies and private vendors to provide enterprise solutions for DWS and its clients.

• • •

Financial Statement

The Department of Workforce Services works with two different types of funds: federal grants and the Penalty and Interest Fund.

During the 2002 calendar year (which runs from January 1 to December 31, 2002), the agency received $38,976,067 from federal grants and $1,946,409 from the Penalty and Interest Fund to total $40,922,476.

The agency spent that amount to cover personnel costs, operating expenditures, and capital outlay. (The table below compares 2002 data to 2001 figures.)

The $40,922,476 was distributed among different departments and projects. Unemployment Insurance received the largest portion with 65.8 percent, followed by Employment Service with 22.2 percent. Workforce Investment Act received 5.6 percent, Labor Market Information followed with 3.4 percent, and Miscellaneous Projects received 2.9 percent. (Refer to the "Distribution of Funds" table below.)

The Department of Workforce Services's funds are audited annually by an independent auditing firm.

Distribution of Funds

January Through December 2002

Programs/Projects
Amount
Percent
Unemployment Insurance
$26.9 million
65.8%
Employment Service
$9.1 million
22.2%
Workforce Investment Act
$2.3 million
5.6%
Labor Market Information
$1.4 million
3.4%
Miscellaneous Projects
$1.2 million
2.9%
 
Administrative Income & Expense Summary

January 2002 - December 2002

Fund Source:
2001
2002
Federal Grants
$35,257,948
$38,976,067
Penalty & Interest Fund
$2,015,300
$1,946,409
Total:
$37,273,248
$40,922,476

 

Expenses:
2001
2002
Personnel Costs
$27,539,302
$29,181,685
Operating Expenditures
$9,433,134
$11,366,698
Capital Outlay
$300,812
$374,093
Total:
$37,273,248
$40,922,476

 

Programs/Projects:
2001
2002
Employment Service (ES)
$8,904,579
$9,158,450
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
$2,042,574
$2,271,197
Labor Market Information (LMI)
$1,446,202
$1,354,534
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
$23,362,872
$26,902,436
Miscellaneous Projects
$1,517,021
$1,235,859
Total:
$37,273,248
$40,922,476

 

 

 

Department of Workforce Services

Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

December 31, 2002

Balance, Beginning of Year
$167,490,682
Revenues
Unemployment Insurance Contributions
180,885,529
Reimbursements From Other States
17,058,621
Reed Act Distributions
63,958,998
Interest Income
11,180,112
Total Revenues:
273,083,260

 

Expenditures
Unemployment Benefit Payments
323,494,360
Reed Act Withdrawals
____-0-____
Total Expenditures:
323,494,360

 

Excess (Deficiency) of Revenues
Collected Over Expenditures
(50,411,100)
Balance, End of Year
$117,079,582

• • •

Meet Our Employees

SERVICE AWARD - Gov. Mike Huckabee presented Dora Philyaw, an Department of Workforce Services employee, with the Service to the Citizens Award Dec. 17, 2002, at the Capitol. Philyaw received the award for her leadership and community service. Gen. Mel Thrash, DWS's deputy director, and other co-workers attended the celebration.

VETERANS AWARDS - Larry Frazier, the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialist in the Hot Springs Local Office, presented Steve Short, the veterans technician, with the Disabled American Veterans Outstanding Disabled Outreach Program Representative of Arkansas for 2001 Award. Russ Dority, the Local Veterans Employment Representative at the Hot Springs Local Office, received the DAV Outstanding Local Veterans Employment Representative of the Year for Arkansas Award. The awards were announced at the DAV State Convention June 6 to 9, 2002, at Fort Smith.

SPAM AWARD - The Arkansas Occupational Employment Statistics work group won the "Golden Spam Award" Sept. 26, 2002, at the National Occupational Employment Statistics Meeting at Albuquerque, N.M. The group, which is comprised of Dorothy Darby, Sarah Morris, Rosalie Owens, Delores Hall, and Charlene Carpenter, received the award for having the highest overall response rate and quality assurance in Region VI. The award, which is inspired by the program name "The OES Survey Processing and Management System" (SPAM), will be given to another outstanding state next year.

RECEIVED HONORS - Five DWS employees graduated from the Arkansas Public Administration Consortium's Arkansas Governmental Manager program on May 9, 2002, during ceremonies held at the State Capitol. Those who completed the program were managers in public and nonprofit agencies and in government and had to complete six two-day courses and a project plan. They were Elsie Rogers, Jessie Cain, Delaine Russell, Suzie Wetzel and Judy Thompson.

HONORS - Fourteen employees graduated from the Arkansas Public Administration Consortium's Certified Employment Manager Program May 9, 2002, during ceremonies held at the State Capitol. They completed nine two-day courses and passed a final exam. Graduates were Hellen Jones, Peggy Pilgrim, Judy Clayton, Jaynie Clark, Herman Sanders, Dora Hughes, Robert Mantione, Al Crumby, Ross Parker, Mary Cotton, Allen Ledbetter, Troy Temples, Ava Williams, and Evelyn Trumble.

• • •

Vision Statement

The Department of Workforce Services is to be a dynamic organization taking pride in being the provider of choice for employment services.

• • •

Vision Statement

DWS's mission is to provide its customers with employment-related services that contribute to the economic stability of Arkansas and its citizens. These services are provided to employers, the workforce, and the general public and include:

• Linking employers with qualified job applicants.

• Helping the employed and unemployed find work or training.

• Providing unemployment insurance benefits to those eligible.

• Facilitating employer compliance with Arkansas Employment Security Law.

• Collecting unemployment insurance contributions.

• Producing and communicating labor market information.

• • •

Senior Staff

Ed Rolle

Director

Mel Thrash

Deputy Director

Roger Harrod

General Counsel

Legal Services

Hugh Havens

Assistant Director

Unemployment Insurance

Sharon Robinette

Assistant Director

Information & Technology

Ron Snead

Assistant Director

Employment Assistance

Bryan Hicks

Assistant Director

Financial Management

Margaret Meads

Chairman

Board of Review

Bert Dickey

DWS Administrator

Division of State

New Hire Registry

• • •

Department of Workforce Services

America's Workforce Network

• • •

Department of Workforce Services

#1 Pershing Circle

North Little Rock, AR 72114

www.arkansas.gov/esd