Unemployment Insurance and Welfare Recipients

Brief

Unemployment Insurance and Welfare Recipients

What Happens When the Recession Comes?
December 1, 2000

Abstract

The employment experience of current and former welfare recipients is improving rapidly enough that their eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) will be significantly greater than many had earlier thought. Nonetheless, we can expect the welfare rolls to rise significantly with increases in the national unemployment rate. Only about 40% of all unemployed workers collected UI during the most recent economic downturn. It's unlikely that this percentage will be higher among unemployed welfare recipients in the next recession. The paper proposes several state and federal changes in UI and cash assistance that would raise eligibility among low-wage workers.

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