WPR reports on Wyoming’s unemployed

When the Wyoming House of Representatives declined a measure to accept some $38 million in federal funds to extend unemployment benefits in the state earlier this year, the general tone among legislators was that Wyoming’s unemployed were simply lazy and that unemployment benefits only serve to discourage them from looking for work.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck recently visited with some of Wyoming’s unemployed and under-employed workers who said finding a good paying job in Wyoming isn’t as easy as some legislators suggested. Check out Beck’s report “In Wyo., Unemployment Persists,” which aired Friday May 20 on Wyoming Public Radio’s Open Spaces program.

The report is an excellent continuation of coverage on the Wyoming House of Representative’s move to turn down federal unemployment funds under the argument that accepting federal aid is immoral. In March, WyoFile managing editor Ruffin Prevost issued a special report, “Aid Debate,” revealing that several of the legislators who had voted to block the federal unemployment funds on these grounds are recipients of federal aid through agriculture programs. Even Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, who hailed the legislature’s decision, received more than $49,000 in farm subsidies from 2007 to 2008, adding to the debate about whether some government subsidy programs are more critical than others and whether some Wyoming politicians are simply engaged in hypocrisy.

— Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile editor-in-chief, 307-577-6069, dustin@wyofile.com.

Dustin Bleizeffer is a Report for America Corps member covering energy and climate at WyoFile. He has worked as a coal miner, an oilfield mechanic, and for 25 years as a statewide reporter and editor primarily...

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