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Keywords:unemployment insurance 

Journal Article
Preparing Unemployment Insurance for a Downturn: The Carolinas

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the United States saw unemployment rates rise to levels it had not seen since the early 1980s as employers shed workers by the millions. Workers who had lost their jobs could not find other work and flooded into unemployment offices around the nation applying for benefits to ease the shock to their household income. Unemployment insurance claims and payouts soared, straining programs from coast to coast.
Econ Focus , Issue 3Q , Pages 32-35

Working Paper
Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic

The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increases the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about its substantial impact on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of CARES UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment, but they also reduce infection and save lives. Economic shutdown policies further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, the CARES ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-13

Working Paper
Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic

The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increases the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about its substantial impact on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of CARES UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment, but they also reduce infection and save lives. Shutdown policies and infection risk further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-13a

Working Paper
Using the Eye of the Storm to Predict the Wave of Covid-19 UI Claims

We leverage an event-study research design focused on the seven costliest hurricanes to hit the US mainland since 2004 to identify the elasticity of unemployment insurance filings with respect to search intensity. Applying our elasticity estimate to the state-level Google Trends indexes for the topic “unemployment,” we show that out-of-sample forecasts made ahead of the official data releases for March 21 and 28 predicted to a large degree the extent of the Covid-19 related surge in the demand for unemployment insurance. In addition, we provide a robust assessment of the uncertainty ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-10

Journal Article
How Much Did the CARES Act Help Households Stay Afloat?

Widespread job losses starting in mid-March last year forced many households to rely more heavily on nonemployment income and liquid assets on hand to continue buying what they needed. Federal assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act helped boost household resilience—the ability to sustain consumption despite the loss of employment income. Data suggest that the aid increased household resilience by 15 weeks, chiefly through enhanced unemployment insurance benefits. Among racial groups, this benefited Black and Hispanic households the most, raising median ...
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2021 , Issue 18 , Pages 06

Working Paper
Using the Eye of the Storm to Predict the Wave of Covid-19 UI Claims

We leverage an event-study research design focused on the seven costliest hurricanes to hit the US mainland since 2004 to identify the elasticity of unemployment insurance filings with respect to search intensity. Applying our elasticity estimate to the state-level Google Trends indexes for the topic “unemployment,” we show that out-of-sample forecasts made ahead of the official data releases for March 21 and 28 predicted to a large degree the extent of the Covid-19 related surge in the demand for unemployment insurance. In addition, we provide a robust assessment of the uncertainty ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-10

Working Paper
Using the Eye of the Storm to Predict the Wave of Covid-19 UI Claims

We leverage an event-study research design focused on the seven costliest hurricanes to hit the US mainland since 2004 to identify the elasticity of unemployment insurance filings with respect to search intensity. Applying our elasticity estimate to the state-level Google Trends indexes for the topic “unemployment,” we show that out-of-sample forecasts made ahead of the official data releases for March 21 and 28 predicted to a large degree the extent of the Covid-19 related surge in the demand for unemployment insurance. In addition, we provide a robust assessment of the uncertainty ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-10

Report
Individual and Market-Level Effects of UI Policies: Evidence from Missouri

We develop a method to jointly measure the response of worker search effort (individual effect) and vacancy creation (market-level effect) to changes in the duration of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. To implement this approach, we exploit an unexpected cut in UI durations in Missouri and provide quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of UI on the labor market. The data indicate that the cut in Missouri significantly increased job finding rates by both raising the search effort of unemployed workers and the availability of jobs. The latter accounts for at least a third and up to 100 ...
Staff Reports , Paper 905

Discussion Paper
The CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The outbreak of COVID-19 led to widespread shutdowns in March and April 2020 and an historically unprecedented increase in the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) through the CARES Act. This article summarizes the key policy-relevant results from Fang, Nie, and Xie (2020), whose research examines the interactions of virus infection risk, shutdown policy, and increased UI generosity.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-16

How Should the Government Spend the Fiscal Budget during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

A mix of expanded unemployment insurance benefits and payroll subsidies to employers may be more effective in speeding up the recovery than implementing just one of those policies.
On the Economy

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