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Publications by Wayne Vroman on Unemployment Insurance

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Financing Unemployment Insurance After the Great Recession (Policy Briefs/Unemployment and Recovery)
Wayne Vroman

This brief assesses the financing of regular state UI benefits, specifically state financing experiences during and after the Great Recession that commenced December 2007. Sections (1) provide background on the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system; (2) summarize UI system performance in the Great Recession, providing an overview of benefit payment experiences, state borrowing, and the response of the UI tax system that finances regular benefits; (3) analyze causes for the financing problem; and finally, (4) discuss potential remedies to improve fiscal integrity in regular UI, focusing on both state and federal policy action to restore its long-run fiscal solvency.

Posted to Web: August 29, 2012Publication Date: August 29, 2012

The Challenge Facing the Unemployment Insurance Financial System (Research Report)
Wayne Vroman

This working paper examines the performance of the state unemployment insurance (UI) financing system during and after the Great Recession of 2007-2009. It documents the patterns of borrowing by the states and the response of UI taxes and other policy actions to restore state UI trust fund balances. The final section explores alternative policy options for improving the long run solvency of state UI programs.

Posted to Web: August 10, 2012Publication Date: August 10, 2012

Unemployment Insurance Performance and Trust Fund Restoration (Testimony)
Wayne Vroman

State-financed unemployment insurance (UI) programs owe the U.S. Treasury and the private securities market more than $46 billion. In testimony before a U.S. House Ways and Means subcommittee, Wayne Vroman discusses the causes of this debt, UI benefit payments since the onset of the Great Recession, and how a financing crisis can be avoided in the next recession.

Posted to Web: April 26, 2012Publication Date: April 26, 2012

Unemployment Insurance and the Great Recession (Policy Briefs/Unemployment and Recovery)
Wayne Vroman

This issue brief examines the unprecedented funding problem of state unemployment insurance (UI) programs. The majority of UI programs (36 of 53) have borrowed, securing record loan amounts to maintain unemployment insurance benefit payments during 2009-2011. It identifies the causes of the funding problem, discusses borrowing options for states and describes policy responses at both the state and federal levels. State actions have included both tax increases and benefit reductions. Federal policy proposals have addressed the low UI taxable wage base in most states and have offered partial debt forgiveness in return for state actions to improve solvency. To date, policy actions have been slow at both the state and federal levels of government.

Posted to Web: December 07, 2011Publication Date: December 01, 2011

Unemployment Insurance and the Great Recession (Occasional Paper)
Wayne Vroman

This paper examines the unprecedented funding problem of state unemployment insurance (UI) programs. The majority of UI programs (36 of 53) have borrowed, securing record loan amounts to maintain unemployment insurance benefit payments during 2009-2011. It identifies the causes of the funding problem, discusses borrowing options for states and describes policy responses at both the state and federal levels. State actions have included both tax increases and benefit reductions. Federal policy proposals have addressed the low UI taxable wage base in most states and have offered partial debt forgiveness in return for state actions to improve solvency. To date, policy actions have been slow at both the state and federal levels of government.

Posted to Web: November 28, 2011Publication Date: November 28, 2011

The Great Recession, Unemployment Insurance, and Poverty - Summary (Summary)
Wayne Vroman

Widespread job loss and long spells of unemployment made 2009 the worst year in the labor market since the World War II era. And when jobless rates rise, higher poverty rates typically follow. Congress repeatedly extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the recession, keeping many out-of-work Americans afloat, but others were unable to access benefits. High unemployment is expected to continue into 2010 and later—and ad hoc UI extensions will not counteract lengthy job separations or get Americans back to work. The unemployed, especially those out of work for a long time, need labor market policies that will provide long-term income support and speed reemployment.

Posted to Web: July 15, 2010Publication Date: July 15, 2010

The Great Recession, Unemployment Insurance and Poverty (Research Report)
Wayne Vroman

This paper reviews labor market developments in 2009 and developments in state unemployment insurance (UI) programs drawing upon statistical reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Office of Workforce Security of the U.S. Department of Labor. Next, the paper examines income data from the March 2009 Current Population Survey to summarize the implications of the 2008–09 recession for U.S. poverty rates. The unusually high unemployment of 2009 and the likely high unemployment of 2010 and later years point to near-term poverty rates much higher than the poverty rates of previous years.

Posted to Web: April 14, 2010Publication Date: April 02, 2010

Short-Time Compensation as a Policy to Stabilize Employment (Research Report)
Wayne Vroman, Vera Brusentsev

Short time compensation (STC or work sharing) is a labor adjustment measure designed to reduce or eliminate reliance on layoffs when firms need to reduce hours worked. It spreads the reduction in hours among a wide pool of workers and provides partial unemployment compensation (UC) for the reduced hours. This paper examines STC with attention to experiences in Canada and Germany as well as the United States. It also suggests ways to increase STC use in the United States.

Posted to Web: November 19, 2009Publication Date: November 01, 2009

Unemployment Compensation in a Worldwide Recession (Occasional Paper)
Wayne Vroman, Vera Brusentsev

This paper examines data on unemployment compensation programs across a sample of 150 large countries that account for 99 percent of the world's population. It documents recipiency rates and replacement rates in the 66 countries with UC programs. It makes comparisons of the degree of earnings loss protection in countries arranged by geographic area and by income level. Overall it finds that UC replaces 11.7 percent of the earnings losses caused by unemployment.

Posted to Web: July 01, 2009Publication Date: June 01, 2009

Unemployment Insurance in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HR1) (Commentary)
Wayne Vroman

The economic stimulus bill enacted on February 17, 2009 has several provisions related to unemployment insurance (UI). Several governors have objected to some provisions. In this document, Senior Fellow Wayne Vroman, an economist and researcher on UI, answers key questions about the program changes.

Posted to Web: March 20, 2009Publication Date: March 20, 2009

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