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Repeat Use of Unemployment Insurance

Bruce Meyer and Dan Rosenbaum

IPR working papers from Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University

Abstract: We examine the extent to which unemployment insurance (UI) insures workers against unforeseen events or subsidizes firms and workers engaged in temporary layoffs. Our main source of data is a five-year panel of UI administrative records from five states. While most claimants receive UI only once during this period, nearly 40% of claims go to those individuals with three or more years of receipt during the five-year period. Most repeat recipients are concentrated in seasonal industries and are laid off by the same employer each time. We also find that middle-aged and high-paid workers are more likely to be repeat recipients, suggesting that workers in bad jobs are not the individuals who repeatedly receive UI.

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Working Paper: Repeat Use of Unemployment Insurance (1996) Downloads
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