Dear Friends and neighbors:
Through rain, snow, sleet and hail, we've made it to the halfway mark of the 105 day session! Historically, fewer bills have been introduced this year but the intensity and sense of purpose have not diminished! E-mails, voice mails and letters continue to come in record numbers. It's great to have the up to date concerns of our 11th district citizens on a regular basis. Be sure to contact me with questions, ideas and suggestions so you can be provided accurate, up-to-date information.
Sen. Margarita Prentice
State Gains Jobs in January
Washington’s unemployment rate dipped from 9.3 percent in December to 9.1 percent inJanuary, backed by the strongest month of job growth in more than three years.
An estimated 11,000 Washington jobs were added in January. It’s the largest monthly gain since November 2007, the month before the national recession began.
“It’s unusual to have job gains in the middle of winter, so this is another positive sign that the recovery is under way,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause.
Industries that added jobs in January were professional and business services, up 5,600; education and health services, up 4,500; retail trade, up 1,500; leisure and hospitality, up 1,300; financial activities, up 1,200; transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 800; and mining and logging, up 100.
Jobs were lost in construction, down 1,500; manufacturing, down 700; information, down 600; government, down 600; other services, down 500; and wholesale trade, down 100.
Since the beginning of 2010, Washington has added an estimated 20,500 jobs.
An estimated 338,905 people (not seasonally adjusted) in Washington were unemployed and looking for work, and 245,225 people received unemployment benefits from Washington in December.
Employment Security is a partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which offers a variety of employment and training services for job seekers, including free help with interviewing skills, résumés and job referrals. WorkSource can also help employers recruit and screen for qualified workers, apply for employment tax breaks and qualify for subsidized employee training.
Locations of local WorkSource offices are listed online at www.go2worksource.com.
Assistance also is available by phone at 877-872-5627.
In addition, more than 16,000 job openings are posted online at www.go2worksource.com.
March 1st TANF changes temporarily suspended
A court injunction has momentarily blocked scheduled changes for those receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits. As of March 1, any Social Security benefits would be counted as income for determining eligibility for TANF benefits.
Got Unclaimed property?
Property being held by an organization that has not had contact with the owner for an extended period of time is usually considered as unclaimed property and turned over to the state of Washington. Banks, retailers, credit unions, utilities, corporations, insurance companies and governmental entities are some of the many sources of unclaimed property.
The Department of Revenue is the custodian for unclaimed property and it administers an unclaimed property program to seek the rightful owners. Typical unclaimed property includes:
- Bank accounts
- Insurance proceeds
- Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
- Safe deposit box contents
- Utility and phone company deposits
- Uncashed checks, such as payroll, insurance payments, or travelers checks
More than $1 billion in unclaimed property has been turned over to the Department of Revenue since 1955. In 2008, the Department’s Unclaimed Property Section received property worth more than $100 million and the amount continues to grow each year.
State law protects unclaimed property until it can be returned to its rightful owners or their heirs.
Follow this link to DOR’s Unclaimed Property website where and you can search for free!
As always, beware of third parties offering to locate property for you. Happy Hunting!
The New South Park Bridge
All of the funding for the new South Park Bridge has been secured and pre-bid tours have taken place. If all goes well, construction could begin as early as May!
You are invited to join King County Road Services at the community kick-off on Monday, March 7, 6 - 8 p.m. at the Aerospace Machinists 751 Union Hall, 9135 15th Place S., Seattle. The event will feature refreshments from local businesses and awards to members of the South Park Citizen Advisory Group and the New South Park Bridge Coalition. Hope you can join the fun and celebrate this accomplishment! View and print an invitation here.
Free e-filing for Taxpayers
Click here to learn how to electronically file your federal tax return for FREE!