Who Receives Unemployment Insurance?

Macrothink Institute
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Research in Applied Economics, 2014, 6 (3), pp. 98 - 98
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This paper uses Unemployment Insurance (UI) administrative data combined with Current Population Survey data in 2003 to examine socioeconomic patterns in UI receipt for new job losers. We find that key socioeconomic groups – women, nonwhites, youth, and workers with no high school diploma – were much less likely than average to start collecting UI benefits once they lost their jobs. These differences are partly attributable to differences in part-time employment and unionization; workers in groups with low part-time employment and high unionization rates had higher than average UI receipt rates. We also find that certain groups of job losers – women, youth, workers with no college education, and blue collar workers – collected much lower benefits once they entered the program. These differences are mainly attributed to variation in benefit entitlements and other factors. Our findings enhance our understanding of the effectiveness of the UI program to serve the diverse population of new job losers in the modern US economy.
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