Kurzarbeit and Workshare

As we have been repeatedly reminded, Germany and Austria amongst others have a scheme to supplement employee income during the pandemic without requiring that everyone be laid off, apply for unemployment and receive a supplemented payment when approved.  For example, see How Germany Saved Its Workforce From Unemployment While Spending Less Per Person Than the U.S. — ProPublica

What I didn’t know is that many states in the US have a similar program.  In fact, WA has a workshare program called SharedWork (!) that is almost identical.  Furthermore, the CARES Act passed by the Federal government that set up the idiotic unemployment compensation scheme for the duration of the pandemic also completely funds any state-governed workshare scheme, so WA would be off the hook for financing the increased demand for the program.

The ProPublica article referenced above does a good job comparing the Kurzarbeit and unemployment approach.  What I don’t understand is: why didn’t WA advertise the SharedWork program to all WA businesses, instead of retrofitting its barely-functioning unemployment system?  Why am I just finding out about this now?

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