Accounting for potential recessions in the cost of UI reform: Costs under current law and under archetypal reforms (in billions$)

Under current law Under reform
  No emergency response to recession Emergency response to recession Archetypal 2021 reforms
Baseline, no recession cost $330.0 $330.0 $690.0
Additional costs imposed by recession that is:
Mild $43.6 $217.7 $234.1
Severe $78.5 $392.0 $893.2
Total cost
Annualized, factoring in recession probability $37.1 $53.3 $106.6

Note: See the appendix on how the cost estimates in this table are constructed.

Sources: The unemployment rate is obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021b), the recipiency rate and the replacement are both obtained from the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (U.S. DOL-ETA 2021), and annual UI spending is obtained from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA 2021b); estimates of costs during recessions are from Chodorow-Reich and Coglianese 2019. 

View the underlying data on