Global trade's impact on Indiana jobs has made headlines this election season -- and so far this year, high numbers of Hoosier workers have also qualified for federal benefits due to trade-related layoffs.
Estimates from the Department of Workforce Development show that, in the last six months, more Indiana workers have qualified for federal benefits due to trade-related layoffs than in any of the past five years -- more than 3,200 since Jan. 1.
Layoffs can be certified trade-related if workers think they've lost their jobs due to foreign import pressures or their company moves overseas. They have a year after that to make their case in a petition to the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA).
If officials there agree that foreign trade helped cause the workers' displacement, those workers can apply for extra financial aid, and help finding new jobs.
That's what happened in Huntington, for at least 700 employees of United Technologies Electronic Controls. UTEC is affiliated with appliance-maker Carrier, which made a highly publicized decision this past spring to move all its Indiana business to Mexico. (See the video pictured above here.)
UTEC’s layoffs were certified as trade-related in June.
State officials note that fewer workers generally wind up applying for and receiving TAA benefits than initially qualify.