New Study: Unemployment Benefits Have Very Little Impact On Jobless Rate

Posted: September 24th, 2011 | Author: wmspringer | Filed under: Uncategorized | 219 Comments »

One Republican talking point is that unemployment benefits are a bad idea because they encourage people not to bother looking for work (apparently, Republicans believe that a number of people would rather live on a fraction of their normal salary while sending out resumes than getting a real job; how this supports the reality of many job applicants for every job opening, I have no idea)

A new paper by Jesse Rothstien, CU-Berkeley, investigates this theory and finds that the unemployment rate is between 0.2 and 0.6 points higher than it would be without extended unemployment benefits, due mainly to forcing those people to continue looking for work rather than giving up (at which point they would no longer be counted as unemployed, in spite of still not having found a job).


Wisconsin Panel Recommends Unemployment Extension

Posted: June 26th, 2011 | Author: wmspringer | Filed under: Uncategorized | 215 Comments »

Some good news out of Wisconsin – a rules change may allow for people to collect benefits for a bit longer. As of April, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has improved by enough that the state no longer qualifies for 13 weeks of Tier 3 benefits. However, the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council voted 9-0 last week to change how the unemployment rate is calculated; under the change, Wisconsin would use the average of the past three year’s unemployment rates rather than the previous two years. As a result of the change, the state would qualify for an additional $90 million in federal dollars made available by the 2009 stimulus, providing a benefit of up to $363 per week for an additional 13 weeks for up to 11,000 people.

If the legislature approves the changes, the extended benefits will apply retroactively from the end of April. However, Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers, who control both branches of the state legislature, oppose any unemployment extension.