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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Lein, Laura; Romich, Jennifer L.; Sherraden, Michael
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2016

    Extreme economic inequality has taken hold in the United States. Fostered in part by misguided policies and intentional choices, it can be reversed through purposeful action. However, social policies created for the industrial age face relentless political opposition and are not meeting the social welfare challenges of the information age. A new social contract is required. This paper elaborates key components of that contract, identifying social innovations to increase income at the bottom of society and reduce wealth disparities. Through such innovations, the United States can reverse extreme economic inequality. Because of social work’s history in addressing injustice and reforming policy, the profession is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge and has critical roles to play in addressing it. (Author abstract)

    Extreme economic inequality has taken hold in the United States. Fostered in part by misguided policies and intentional choices, it can be reversed through purposeful action. However, social policies created for the industrial age face relentless political opposition and are not meeting the social welfare challenges of the information age. A new social contract is required. This paper elaborates key components of that contract, identifying social innovations to increase income at the bottom of society and reduce wealth disparities. Through such innovations, the United States can reverse extreme economic inequality. Because of social work’s history in addressing injustice and reforming policy, the profession is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge and has critical roles to play in addressing it. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Stone, Chad; Chen, William
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    The federal-state unemployment insurance system (UI) helps many people who have lost their jobs by temporarily replacing part of their wages while they look for work. Created in 1935, it is a form of social insurance in which taxes collected from employers are paid into the system on behalf of working people to provide them with income support if they lose their jobs. The system also helps sustain consumer demand during economic downturns by providing a continuing stream of dollars for families to spend. (author introduction)

    The federal-state unemployment insurance system (UI) helps many people who have lost their jobs by temporarily replacing part of their wages while they look for work. Created in 1935, it is a form of social insurance in which taxes collected from employers are paid into the system on behalf of working people to provide them with income support if they lose their jobs. The system also helps sustain consumer demand during economic downturns by providing a continuing stream of dollars for families to spend. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Lovell, Vicky; Emsellem, Maurice
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    The Florida unemployment insurance (UI) system is not meeting its basic goal of providing a modest measure of income support to temporarily unemployed workers. This is due in significant part to the UI system’s failure to keep pace with fundamental changes in the labor market, including the growth of low-wage and part-time work and the vastly expanding role of women in the labor market. This situation exists despite the significant reserves in Florida’s UI trust fund, even during the current economic downturn, and record-level UI tax cuts. (author abstract)

    The Florida unemployment insurance (UI) system is not meeting its basic goal of providing a modest measure of income support to temporarily unemployed workers. This is due in significant part to the UI system’s failure to keep pace with fundamental changes in the labor market, including the growth of low-wage and part-time work and the vastly expanding role of women in the labor market. This situation exists despite the significant reserves in Florida’s UI trust fund, even during the current economic downturn, and record-level UI tax cuts. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nilsen, Sigurd R
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Since 1935, the welfare and unemployment insurance (UI) programs have operated side-by-side as major parts of the nation’s social safety net. The welfare program provides cash assistance to needy families without means of support, while UI provides cash assistance to people temporarily unemployed. In 1996, federal legislation fundamentally changed the welfare program, putting time limits on how long most people can receive cash assistance and generally requiring recipients to engage in work activities to qualify for income support. Since that time, the welfare rolls have dropped dramatically, and large numbers of welfare recipients have started working, many in low-wage jobs. With this radical shift, the UI program is left as a more significant element of the social safety net, particularly for low-income families formerly assisted by the welfare program.

    In contrast to the welfare program, which focuses on assistance to needy families with children, UI is a social insurance program intended to partially replace lost earnings for people with prior work experience who...

    Since 1935, the welfare and unemployment insurance (UI) programs have operated side-by-side as major parts of the nation’s social safety net. The welfare program provides cash assistance to needy families without means of support, while UI provides cash assistance to people temporarily unemployed. In 1996, federal legislation fundamentally changed the welfare program, putting time limits on how long most people can receive cash assistance and generally requiring recipients to engage in work activities to qualify for income support. Since that time, the welfare rolls have dropped dramatically, and large numbers of welfare recipients have started working, many in low-wage jobs. With this radical shift, the UI program is left as a more significant element of the social safety net, particularly for low-income families formerly assisted by the welfare program.

    In contrast to the welfare program, which focuses on assistance to needy families with children, UI is a social insurance program intended to partially replace lost earnings for people with prior work experience who become involuntarily unemployed and who are able, available, and actively seeking work. Premiums are paid in advance by employers as a payroll tax on wages earned by their employees. Although state law varies, this payroll tax is applied to, at a minimum, the first $7,000 of most employees’ annual earnings. State law specifies the factors (for example, minimum earnings or employment period) that qualify a person to collect UI benefits.

    To conduct our study, we used a combination of methods. To determine the long-term trends in the usage of the UI program, we analyzed data from the Department of Labor. To compare the likelihood that low-wage workers receive UI benefits with that of other workers, we examined data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a national database maintained by the Bureau of the Census. For our purposes, SIPP data were available only for the 4-year period 1992 through 1995; to extend our analysis through the rest of the decade, we supplemented SIPP data with UI administrative data from the Department of Labor and with data from a national database jointly maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of the Census—the Current Population Survey (CPS). To determine factors that may affect the likelihood a person will receive UI benefits, we reviewed the available literature. We also surveyed UI program directors for the 50 states on eligibility criteria that may affect low-wage workers in general and former welfare recipients in particular. To obtain detailed information on state policies and practices, we talked with officials in the four most populous states—California, Florida, New York, and Texas—as well as collected data on other states nationwide. A fuller description of our methodology is included in appendix I. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Rothstein, Jesse; Valleta, Robert G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Despite unprecedented extensions of available unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the "Great Recession" of 2007-09 and its aftermath, large numbers of recipients exhausted their maximum available UI benefits prior to finding new jobs. Using SIPP panel data and an event-study regression framework, we examine the household income patterns of individuals whose jobless spells outlast their UI benefits, comparing the periods following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Job loss reduces household income roughly by half on average, and for UI recipients benefits replace just under half of this loss. Accordingly, when benefits end the household loses UI income equal to roughly one-quarter of total pre-separation household income (and about one-third of pre-exhaustion household income). Only a small portion of this loss is offset by increased income from food stamps and other safety net programs. The share of families with income below the poverty line nearly doubles. These patterns were generally similar following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions and do not vary dramatically by...

    Despite unprecedented extensions of available unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the "Great Recession" of 2007-09 and its aftermath, large numbers of recipients exhausted their maximum available UI benefits prior to finding new jobs. Using SIPP panel data and an event-study regression framework, we examine the household income patterns of individuals whose jobless spells outlast their UI benefits, comparing the periods following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Job loss reduces household income roughly by half on average, and for UI recipients benefits replace just under half of this loss. Accordingly, when benefits end the household loses UI income equal to roughly one-quarter of total pre-separation household income (and about one-third of pre-exhaustion household income). Only a small portion of this loss is offset by increased income from food stamps and other safety net programs. The share of families with income below the poverty line nearly doubles. These patterns were generally similar following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions and do not vary dramatically by household age or income prior to job loss. (author abstract)

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