Economic Snapshot | Inequality and Poverty

Few states qualify for unemployment insurance extension

A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for July 10, 2002.

Few states qualify for unemployment insurance extension
On March 5, 2002 Congress passed an extension of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Workers who exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits after March 15, 2001 would be eligible for the first tier of these extended benefits (known as Temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or TEUC). The first phase of the program provides up to 13 weeks of additional UI benefits to claimants in all states; the second phase provides an additional 13 weeks, but only in states identified as having “high unemployment.”

Only two states – Washington and Oregon – have unemployment rates high enough to trigger on the second phase of extended benefits. The consequences of this can be seen in the graph below. As of June 2, 2002, claimants began to run out of the first phase of extended benefits. With so few states meeting the federal guidelines for the second phase of benefits, the percentage of the long-term unemployed who will get UI benefits will continue to decline. As a consequence, many of them will fall into poverty with its attendant hardships – increased indebtedness, inadequate health care, and potential homelessness.

Percentage of long-term unemployed receiving Temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) benefits

This week’s Snapshot was written by EPI economist Jeffrey Wenger and research assistant Matthew Walters.

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