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ADVOCACY & POLICY UPDATE - November 27, 2023

DOL Publishes Wagner-Peyser Act Staffing Final Rule

Washington Update


Congress returns from recess this week and, while lawmakers won’t be racing against the clock on spending bills to meet a December deadline (funding has been extended through January 19 for several agencies, and to February 2 for the rest under House Speaker Mike Johnson’s laddered  continuing resolution), when Congress returns from its Christmas break they’ll have little time to pass a spending deal before a government shutdown looms again.  Johnson has said he won’t move another “clean” funding bill forward and the House and Senate are still far apart on their individual spending bills, so the road ahead is a rocky one.

Lawmakers also have to address the looming benefit cliffs as part of the process. Of primary concern for Democrats is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as advocacy groups have warned that a funding shortfall could force the program to turn away eligible mothers and children or put them on waitlists. Democrats are hoping to add $1 billion in supplemental funding to the appropriations package for WIC to avoid this outcome. On Sunday, November 26, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) issued a Dear Colleague letter that outlines his plan for the final work period of the first session of the 118th Congress. In the letter he urges the Senate and House to work in “a bipartisan, bicameral fashion” so lawmakers can complete the first tranche of appropriations bills before the January 19 deadline. 

Click here to read Senate Majority Leader Schumer’s Dear Colleague letter. 

DOL Training and Employment Notice

On Friday, November 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released the Training and Employment Notice (TEN) announcing release of its Wagner-Peyser Act Staffing final rule, which makes changes to the regulations regarding the Wagner-Peyser Act Employment Service (ES). The TEN also provides information to states seeking to implement the revisions provided in the final rule as part of their Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified or Combined State Plan submission for 2026. 

Click here to access the full TEN.

Women in the Sustainable Economy Intiative

On Thursday, November 23, Vice President Kamala Harris announced the Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative, which supports the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All.” The goal of the initiative is to strengthen women’s economic empowerment globally and contains over $900 million in commitments from governments, private sector companies, foundations, and civil society to bolster women’s economic participation in key sectors, such as: clean energy, fisheries, recycling, forest management, and environmental conservation. This initiative is a key element of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader dedication to advancing women’s economic empowerment globally.

Click here to access the White House fact sheet on the WISE Initiative.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Hearing

On Wednesday, November 29, at 10:15 a.m. ET, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections will hold a hearing titled “Bad for Business: DOL’s Proposed Overtime Rule.” The hearing will examine the Department Labor’s proposed overtime rule.

Click here to for more information on the hearing.

Initial Jobless Rate

In the week ending November 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 209,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 231,000 to 233,000. The 4-week moving average was 220,000, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 500 from 220,250 to 220,750. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending November 11, unchanged from the previous week's revised rate. 

Click here to access the report.

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