Now is not the time to reduce Unemployment Insurance:
The economy faces the dual challenge of maintaining people's connection to the labor force while creating enough jobs to employ them.
Currently, only 56 percent of the officially unemployed receive any assistance and for half of them, their UI runs out before they find new jobs. The average benefit across the nation is $296 per week, below the poverty threshold and hardly enough to dissuade workers from seeking employment. Seven states provide up to an additional 67 weeks of UI and 27 states provide up to an additional 73 weeks of UI.
UI is definitely no replacement for a job, but it is a financial life-support system for millions of American workers. We clearly must do everything we can to create more jobs, but now is not the time to reduce UI.
About Howard Rosen Resident Visiting Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics
Geoff Davis U.S. Representative, Kentucky's 4th District
Sander Levin U.S. Representative, Michigan’s 12th District
Carl E. Van Horn Professor of Public Policy and Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University
Lloyd Doggett U.S. Representative, Texas’ 25th District
James Sherk Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics at the Heritage Foundation