Unemployment Insurance in Survey and Administrative Data
Abstract: Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits were a central part of the social safety net during the Covid-19 recession. UI benefits, however, are severely understated in surveys. Using administrative tax data, we find that over half of UI benefits were missed in major survey data, with a greater understatement among low-income workers. As a result, 2020 official poverty rates were overstated by about 2 percentage points, and corrected poverty reached a six-decade low. We provide data to correct underreporting in surveys and show that, compared to UI benefits, the UI exclusion tax expenditure was less targeted at low incomes.
File(s): File format is text/html https://www.federalreserve.gov//econres/notes/feds-notes/unemployment-insurance-in-survey-and-administrative-data-20220705.htm
Part of Series: FEDS Notes
Publication Date: 2022-07-05