Publication Date

1-22-2020

Series

Upjohn Institute working paper ; 19-317

DOI

10.17848/wp19-317

Abstract

We present a graphic case for unemployment insurance (UI) program reform. Through a series of illustrations summarizing historical trends, we show how the UI system has diverged from its intended purposes. Our figures show the decline of the program in addressing its essential aims of paying adequate unemployment compensation during involuntary unemployment and providing reemployment services. We illustrate the big differences in UI programs that have emerged because of the broad discretion afforded states to determine benefit generosity. We also illustrate declines in the financial means for providing benefits and reemployment services and a widening divergence among states in the quality of UI programs. Our concluding section presents a list of reforms that would restore UI as a pillar of social insurance and the labor market.

Issue Date

January 2020

Subject Areas

UNEMPLOYMENT, DISABILITY, and INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAMS; Unemployment insurance

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Citation

O'Leary, Christopher J. and Stephen A. Wandner. 2020. "An Illustrated Case for Unemployment Insurance Reform." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 19-317. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. https://doi.org/10.17848/wp19-317