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Unemployment insurance (UI) is a federal-state program that provides income support for jobless workers in economic downturns. Following the Great Recession, the safety net provided by the UI system was a crucial tool in counteracting the effects of the downturn on families. Since the recovery began in 2010 however, we’ve seen a rapid decline in the recipiency rate, or the share of unemployed workers who receive UI benefits. While this is partially expected as an economy improves, we know that slack remains in today’s labor market with lackluster wage growth and a historically high long-term unemployment rate. The figure below shows how severe the drop in the recipiency rate was following the Great Recession and how we now sit at a historically low recipiency rate. The recipiency rate was 23.1 percent in December 2014, below the pre-Great Recession record low of 25.0 percent in September 1984.

BLS Latest Job Numbers

  • 12.3 million - unemployed,
  • 14.4%(U6) - out of work,
  • 4.7 million (40%) 6 months or longer,
  • 8.0 million "involuntary" partime workers,
  • Over 4 million for a year, (WSJ)
  • 2.0  million over 99 weeks, the 99ers!
  • 4.7 jobless for every job. EPI

~ U.S. January 2013 -Bureau Labor Statistics

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