This study examines family incomes after job loss. We find that 45 percent of parents that experienced unemployment lasting at least two months remained unemployed for more than 6 months. Despite the fact that many of these families qualified for safety net benefits, their poverty rate increased from 12 to 35 percent. In contrast, families with parents experiencing unemployment for shorter periods did not experience big jumps in poverty. The results highlight the critical role of policies that spur quick reemployment in maintaining family economic well-being.
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