How Do Unemployment Insurance Modernization Laws Affect the Number and Composition of Eligible?

Research Report

How Do Unemployment Insurance Modernization Laws Affect the Number and Composition of Eligible?

Abstract

In recent years, states have considered several changes to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system, with the goal of expanding the pool of workers eligible for benefits. Those reforms are loosening the work history requirement (i.e., adopting the alternative base period), increasing eligibility for those seeking part-time work, and allowing workers who quit their jobs for compelling family obligations to be eligible for UI benefits. We find without such changes, slightly more than half of all individuals out of work would be eligible for benefits; if all these changes were universally adopted, more than 70 percent of them would be eligible.

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