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Keywords:unemployment insurance 

Working Paper
Using the Eye of the Storm to Predict the Wave of Covid-19 UI Claims

We leverage an event-study research design focused on the seven costliest hurricanes to hit the US mainland since 2004 to identify the elasticity of unemployment insurance filings with respect to search intensity. Applying our elasticity estimate to the state-level Google Trends indexes for the topic “unemployment,” we show that out-of-sample forecasts made ahead of the official data releases for March 21 and 28 predicted to a large degree the extent of the Covid-19 related surge in the demand for unemployment insurance. In addition, we provide a robust assessment of the uncertainty ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-10

Discussion Paper
Who Benefited Most from the CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Provisions?

The regular unemployment insurance (UI) program in the United States requires workers to have a minimum amount of earnings as well as a sufficient work history before unemployment. Low-wage workers are more likely to have a short work history before unemployment because they are more likely to be separated from their jobs. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) under the CARES Act temporarily eliminated the requirements for minimum past earnings and length of employment, thus making many low-wage workers who were ineligible for UI under the regular program temporarily eligible. The extra ...
Policy Hub

Working Paper
Using the Eye of the Storm to Predict the Wave of Covid-19 UI Claims

We leverage an event-study research design focused on the seven costliest hurricanes to hit the US mainland since 2004 to identify the elasticity of unemployment insurance filings with respect to search intensity. Applying our elasticity estimate to the state-level Google Trends indexes for the topic “unemployment,” we show that out-of-sample forecasts made ahead of the official data releases for March 21 and 28 predicted to a large degree the extent of the Covid-19 related surge in the demand for unemployment insurance. In addition, we provide a robust assessment of the uncertainty ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-10

Discussion Paper
The CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The outbreak of COVID-19 led to widespread shutdowns in March and April 2020 and an historically unprecedented increase in the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) through the CARES Act. This article summarizes the key policy-relevant results from Fang, Nie, and Xie (2020), whose research examines the interactions of virus infection risk, shutdown policy, and increased UI generosity.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-16

Journal Article
Which States Are Driving U.S. Employment Growth?

The 2020 CARES Act expanded unemployment insurance benefits for many, but states that opted out early boosted how much they contributed to employment gains.
The Regional Economist

Working Paper
Labor market transitions and the availability of unemployment insurance

Economists often expect unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to elevate unemployment rates because recipients may choose to remain unemployed in order to continue receiving benefits, instead of accepting a job or dropping out of the labor force. This paper uses individual data from the Current Population Survey for the period between 2005 and 2013 ? a period during which the federal government extended and then reduced the length of benefit availability to varying degrees in different states ? to investigate the influence of program parameters in the UI system on monthly transition rates of ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-2

Working Paper
Racial Inequality in Unemployment Insurance Receipt and Take-Up

This paper studies differences in receipt and take-up of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits among White and Black individuals. We combine state-level UI regulations with data containing detailed information on individuals’ work history and UI receipt. Black individuals who separate from a job are 24% less likely to receive UI than White individuals. The UI receipt gap stems primarily from lower take-up of UI benefits among likely eligible individuals, as opposed to differences in benefit eligibility. Statistical decompositions indicate that about one-half of the take-up gap is explained ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-09

Report
Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment in the Great Recession: The Role of Equilibrium Effects

Equilibrium labor market theory suggests that unemployment benefit extensions affect unemployment by impacting both job search decisions by the unemployed and job creation decisions by employers. The existing empirical literature focused on the former effect only. We develop a new methodology necessary to incorporate the measurement of the latter effect. Implementing this methodology in the data, we find that benefit extensions raise equilibrium wages and lead to a sharp contraction in vacancy creation and employment and a rise in unemployment.
Staff Reports , Paper 646

Working Paper
UI Generosity and Job Acceptance: Effects of the 2020 CARES Act

To provide economic relief following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. CARES Act granted an extra $600 per week in unemployment insurance (UI) benefit payments from late March through July 2020. This unprecedented increase in UI generosity caused weekly benefit payments to exceed prior earnings for most recipients, raising concern that many would be unwilling to accept job offers, slowing the labor market recovery. To assess the impact of the UI supplement, we analyze the job acceptance decision in a dynamic framework in which job seekers weigh the value of a job against remaining ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2021-13

Working Paper
Using the Eye of the Storm to Predict the Wave of Covid-19 UI Claims

We leverage an event-study research design focused on the seven costliest hurricanes to hit the US mainland since 2004 to identify the elasticity of unemployment insurance filings with respect to search intensity. Applying our elasticity estimate to the state-level Google Trends indexes for the topic “unemployment,” we show that out-of-sample forecasts made ahead of the official data releases for March 21 and 28 predicted to a large degree the extent of the Covid-19 related surge in the demand for unemployment insurance. In addition, we provide a robust assessment of the uncertainty ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-10

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