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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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  • Individual Author: Gould-Werth, Alix; Shaefer, H. Luke
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Unemployment Insurance (UI) is the major social insurance program that protects against lost earnings resulting from involuntary unemployment. Existing literature finds that low-earning unemployed workers experience difficulty accessing UI benefits. The most prominent policy reform designed to increase rates of monetary eligibility, and thus UI receipt, among these unemployed workers is the Alternative Base Period (ABP). In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sought to increase use of the ABP, making ABP adoption a necessary precondition for states to receive their share of the $7 billion targeted at UI programs. By January 2013, 40 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the ABP despite the absence of an evaluation of ABP efficacy using nationally representative data. This study analyzes Current Population Survey data from 1987 to 2011 to assess the efficacy of the ABP in increasing UI receipt among low-educated unemployed workers. We used a natural-experiment design to capture the combined behavioral and mechanical effects of the policy change. We found no...

    Unemployment Insurance (UI) is the major social insurance program that protects against lost earnings resulting from involuntary unemployment. Existing literature finds that low-earning unemployed workers experience difficulty accessing UI benefits. The most prominent policy reform designed to increase rates of monetary eligibility, and thus UI receipt, among these unemployed workers is the Alternative Base Period (ABP). In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sought to increase use of the ABP, making ABP adoption a necessary precondition for states to receive their share of the $7 billion targeted at UI programs. By January 2013, 40 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the ABP despite the absence of an evaluation of ABP efficacy using nationally representative data. This study analyzes Current Population Survey data from 1987 to 2011 to assess the efficacy of the ABP in increasing UI receipt among low-educated unemployed workers. We used a natural-experiment design to capture the combined behavioral and mechanical effects of the policy change. We found no association between state-level ABP adoption and individual UI receipt for all unemployed workers. However, among part-time unemployed workers with less than a high school degree, adoption of the ABP was associated with a 2.8 percentage point increase in the probability of UI receipt. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Enchauteguai, Maria E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    The unemployment insurance system is composed of state programs guided by broad federal principles, with funding and eligibility rules left to the states. The participation of employers injects a good deal of contentiousness and errors, while the principle of "no fault of their own" limits the eligibility of many workers who separate from their jobs for family and health reasons or because their temporary job ended. This system leaves many disadvantaged workers behind to the extent that only between 10 and 36 percent of unemployed workers with labor market disadvantages collected benefits in 2010, in comparison to 69 percent of non-disadvantaged workers. (author abstract)

    The unemployment insurance system is composed of state programs guided by broad federal principles, with funding and eligibility rules left to the states. The participation of employers injects a good deal of contentiousness and errors, while the principle of "no fault of their own" limits the eligibility of many workers who separate from their jobs for family and health reasons or because their temporary job ended. This system leaves many disadvantaged workers behind to the extent that only between 10 and 36 percent of unemployed workers with labor market disadvantages collected benefits in 2010, in comparison to 69 percent of non-disadvantaged workers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Vroman, Wayne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    One goal of welfare reform is to move larger numbers of welfare recipients into work. If the aims of the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation are achieved, by 1998 more than a quarter of the roughly 4 million adults who received Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) will be active labor market participants, and half are slated to join the workforce by 2002. Many, if not most, will no longer be receiving welfare benefits at that time.

    Low education and lack of work skills and experience put current and former welfare recipients at special risk of unemployment. The national unemployment rate for persons 16 and older in the labor force averaged only 4.9 percent in 1997, but former welfare recipients can be expected to have jobless rates that are twice the national average.

    Nonetheless, the anticipated increase in the unemployment pool resulting from welfare reform is modest. Because of low earnings and other factors, only a small fraction of adult welfare recipients who enter the labor market will become eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits...

    One goal of welfare reform is to move larger numbers of welfare recipients into work. If the aims of the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation are achieved, by 1998 more than a quarter of the roughly 4 million adults who received Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) will be active labor market participants, and half are slated to join the workforce by 2002. Many, if not most, will no longer be receiving welfare benefits at that time.

    Low education and lack of work skills and experience put current and former welfare recipients at special risk of unemployment. The national unemployment rate for persons 16 and older in the labor force averaged only 4.9 percent in 1997, but former welfare recipients can be expected to have jobless rates that are twice the national average.

    Nonetheless, the anticipated increase in the unemployment pool resulting from welfare reform is modest. Because of low earnings and other factors, only a small fraction of adult welfare recipients who enter the labor market will become eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits under current rules. Moreover, neither federal nor state laws governing eligibility are likely to change in ways that will enhance access to unemployment benefits for unemployed former welfare recipients. Thus, these new workers’ impact on the UI system, in terms of added beneficiaries and costs, will be hardly noticeable. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Gould-Werth, Alix; Shaefer, H. Luke
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Among unemployed workers, the less educated and racial and ethnic minorities are less likely than the highly educated and White non-Hispanics to apply for and to receive unemployment insurance benefits; those who are less educated are also far more likely to perceive themselves as ineligible for benefits for monetary reasons. (author abstract)

    Among unemployed workers, the less educated and racial and ethnic minorities are less likely than the highly educated and White non-Hispanics to apply for and to receive unemployment insurance benefits; those who are less educated are also far more likely to perceive themselves as ineligible for benefits for monetary reasons. (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)

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