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Posted at 4:52 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Budget 2012: Labor Department

By Lisa Rein

Labor Department spending under President Obama's 2012 budget would fall 5 percent from what was enacted in 2010, to $12.8 billion. While the agency is charged with promoting the welfare of workers, job seekers and retirees, the budget released Monday "reflects the need to make sacrifices in many areas," the administration statement said.

The Republican plan released last week, meanwhile, would cut $2.9 billion compared with the 2010 budget, a decrease of 23 percent. Almost half of the reductions would come from grants to states for job-training programs and funding to college and universities that the GOP says is duplicative.

The administration would share a $380 million investment with the Department of Education in a new fund to encourage innovative approaches to job training, with the goal of increasing competition to deliver better results for less money. Close to $10 billion -- also shared with the education agency -- would be spent on unemployment insurance, matching unemployed workers with jobs and training them for new careers.

The plan cuts funding by almost half for a program that employs retirees. Construction and maintenance spending for the Job Corps program, which provides education and training for needy young people, would fall 25 percent.

Obama proposes deferring interest payments on federal loans that states have incurred to expand unemployment benefits. Scheduled tax increases for employers paying into the insurance fund would be postponed. That money would return to federal coffers in 2014, when the minimum level on which employers pay taxes would rise to $15,000 from the current $7,000.

Unemployment insurance fraud, which cost states $15 billion in 2010, would be reined in. The government would provide temporary funding to states that offer part-time unemployment benefits. To encourage states to offer more paid leave for working parents, $23 million would be allocated to cover start-up costs.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

View agency budget document (Annotated PDF)

Budget 2012 analysis: Full list of agencies

By Lisa Rein  | February 14, 2011; 4:52 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, The Agencies, The Budget  
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Next: Budget 2012: Energy Department


Training is always the first to go but essential to many positions.

Posted by: jbeeler | February 15, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

There's a factual error here. The Republican plan proposes reducing Job Corps' construction budget by 25%, not the entire program.

Posted by: newsguy2 | February 14, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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