This paper compares unemployment insurance (UI) with unemployment assistance (UA) as alternative ways to protect workers against the effects of unemployment. While its scope is intended to be general, much of the discussion centers on Australia, and, to a lesser extent, the United States and Canada. The paper focuses on two topics: costs and labor market disincentives. It presents a framework for assessing the costs of unemployment protections and examines comparative data on costs. As will become obvious shortly, the paper is aimed at practitioners.