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Examining the benefits of unemployment insurance in today's economic climate

  • July 14, 2010 5:00am

John Kilgour, CSUEB professor emeritus of business, has new research, “Unemployment Insurance in the 21st Century,” published in Compensation & Benefits Review.

“The federal—state employer-funded unemployment insurance system of the United States is about 75 years old. It worked fairly well in the 20th century, with occasional help from Washington during spells of high unemployment. The current recession that began in 2008 is testing the system severely. From an employment perspective, it is the worse economic contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In addition to the permanent Extended Benefit program enacted in 1970, which may be triggered on a state-by-state basis, there have been several other extensions of fully federally funded benefits. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program of 2008 now contains four tiers and has been extended several times. It is possible that some unemployment compensation recipients may now be entitled to 99 weeks of benefits, all but the first 26 paid for by the federal general fund. This article examines the various elements of unemployment insurance with particular attention to the benefit extensions and related matters associated with the current recession. It then analyses the longer run implications of this development.

For more information: abstract


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