Projects

Evaluation of the Unemployment Compensation Provisions of ARRA

2010-2015
Prepared For

U.S. Department of Labor

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management

The recession that began in 2007 and officially ended in 2009 brought extensive unemployment and led to the longest average joblessness durations since the 1940s. Over the course of the recession, a growing number of unemployed workers exhausted all of the benefits to which they were entitled through the unemployment insurance (UI) program, which provides up to 26 weeks of benefits in most states.

This prompted Congress to increase the number of weeks of benefits available by enacting the temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008 (EUC08) program. In addition, states made rule changes that increased payment activity through the permanent Extended Benefits (EB) program, which automatically provides additional weeks of benefits when state unemployment rates become unusually high. By the end of 2009, up to 99 weeks of benefits were available in high-unemployment states through the UI, EUC08, and EB programs combined—the longest duration of unemployment benefits ever available. Furthermore, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) offered states financial incentives to broaden access to the UI system and increase the generosity of benefits. ARRA also aimed to provide direct financial help to workers receiving unemployment benefits through a temporary supplemental payment each week from 2009 to 2010 and a partial tax exemption for benefit payments received in 2009.

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Related Staff

Karen Needels

Karen Needels

Senior Researcher

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Annalisa Mastri

Annalisa Mastri

Senior Researcher

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Grace Roemer

Grace Roemer

Associate Director

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