Examines Unemployment Insurance [UI] receipt patterns of key socioeconomic groups, as well as the key underlying factors that may explain those patterns.
“This paper uses Unemployment Insurance (UI) administrative data combined with Current Population Survey data in 2003 to examine socioeconomic patterns in UI receipt for new job losers. [The authors find] that key socioeconomic groups—women, nonwhites, youth, and workers with no high school diploma—were much less likely than average to start collecting UI benefits once they lost their jobs. These differences are partly attributable to differences in part-time employment and unionization; workers in groups with low part-time employment and high unionization rates had higher than average UI receipt rates. [The authors] also find that certain groups of job losers—women, youth, workers with no college education, and blue collar workers—collected much lower benefits once they entered the program. These differences are mainly attributed to variation in benefit entitlements and other factors. [The authors’] findings enhance understanding of the effectiveness of the UI program to serve the diverse population of new job losers in the modern US economy” (p.98). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• Using data from four states (Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), the authors find that only “about a third of new job losers in Minnesota and Oregon and a little more than half the new job losers in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin started collecting UI benefits once they lost their jobs” (p.121). • “The average benefit amounts collected by UI recipients in Minnesota and Pennsylvania [were] much higher than the national average, while the average amounts collected by recipients in Wisconsin and Oregon [were] much lower than the national average” (p.121). • “Men were more likely than women to start collecting UI benefits once they lost their jobs in all states except Oregon. Gender differences in UI receipt are partly attributed to the fact that women were much more likely than men to be employed in part-time jobs in all four states, and thus less likely to qualify for UI benefits once they lost their jobs” (p.121). • “White new job losers in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were much more likely than nonwhite job losers to enter the UI program, but there were no race differences in UI receipt in Minnesota” (p.121). • “Workers in the 35-44 years and in the 45+ years age categories had much higher UI receipt rates than younger workers in the 16-24 years and in the 25-34 year age categories. Differences are largely attributed to the fact that younger job losers had among the highest part-time employment rates in each state and were less likely to be union members than their older counterparts” (p.122). • “New job losers with a high school diploma had much higher UI receipt rates than those with no high school diploma and those with at least some college education” (p.122). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)