Who Receives Unemployment Insurance?

Marc Chan, Marios Michaelides, Sisi Zhang


This paper uses Unemployment Insurance (UI) administrative data combined with Current
Population Survey data in 2003 to examine socioeconomic patterns in UI receipt for new job
losers. We find that key socioeconomic groups – women, nonwhites, youth, and workers with
no high school diploma – were much less likely than average to start collecting UI benefits
once they lost their jobs. These differences are partly attributable to differences in part-time
employment and unionization; workers in groups with low part-time employment and high
unionization rates had higher than average UI receipt rates. We also find that certain groups
of job losers – women, youth, workers with no college education, and blue collar workers –
collected much lower benefits once they entered the program. These differences are mainly
attributed to variation in benefit entitlements and other factors. Our findings enhance our
understanding of the effectiveness of the UI program to serve the diverse population of new
job losers in the modern US economy.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/rae.v6i3.5954

Copyright (c) 2014 Marc Chan, Marios Michaelides, Sisi Zhang

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Research in Applied Economics ISSN 1948-5433

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