Publication Date



Upjohn Institute working paper ; 22-369




We use administrative data to quantify the firm role in unemployment insurance (UI) take-up. First, there are firm effects in both claiming and appeals, and, consistent with deterrence effects, these are negatively correlated. Second, low-wage workers are less likely to claim and more likely to have their claims appealed than median-wage workers, and firm effects explain a large share of these income gradients. Third, high-claiming and low-appealing firms are desirable firms: they are higher-paying and have lower separation rates. Finally, the dominant source of targeting error in the UI system is that eligible workers do not apply. Our findings emphasize a novel dimension of the role of firms in the labor market, and have implications for the financing of UI.

Issue Date

July 2022


Upjohn project #43000

Subject Areas

UNEMPLOYMENT, DISABILITY, and INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAMS; Unemployment insurance; Benefits and duration


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Lachowska, Marta, Isaac Sorkin, and Stephen A. Woodbury. 2022. "Firms and Unemployment Insurance Take-Up." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 22-369. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.