Events | Budget, Taxes, and Public Investment

Making the Case to Renew Unemployment Insurance

Date: November 4, 2011

Friday, Nov. 4, 2011
Economic Policy Institute
1333 H Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005

Before the end of the year, Congress must decide whether to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which adds as many as 73 weeks of federal unemployment benefits to the regular state benefits that are normally paid for a maximum of 26 weeks. If EUC is allowed to expire on Dec. 31, there will be serious consequences for millions of families and for the economy, including the loss of more than $70 billion of GDP.

Opposition to renewing EUC focuses on arguments about the effects of unemployment insurance on job search: Does it lessen the motivation of the unemployed to seek work? Does it lengthen the spells of unemployment or divert funds from productive purposes to non-productive purposes?  Does it cost jobs or create jobs?

The research presented at this forum answered those questions and presented the case for renewal of this essential program.


Ross Eisenbrey
Vice President, Economic Policy Institute

Jesse Rothstein
University of California, Berkeley Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics

Carl E. Van Horn
Rutgers University Professor of Public Policy and Director, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development


Lawrence Mishel
President, Economic Policy Institute

Part 1

Part 2

RELATED RESOURCE: Paper on UI and the long-term unemployed co-authored by Dr. Van Horn