ERIC Number: ED463428
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Modernizing Unemployment Insurance for the New Economy and the New Social Policy. Policy Report.
Atkinson, Robert D.
The recession has fueled calls in Congress to extend and expand unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Although UI expansion is needed in the short run, the program is also in need of more fundamental and permanent reform to transform it from an industrial era program to one that is better suited for the New Economy. Policymakers must take the following steps now: (1) expand eligibility to include all low-wage and part-time workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own; (2) set a limit on the practice by states of cutting UI taxes to become more "competitive" (raise the Federal Unemployment Insurance Tax rate from 0.8% to 1.1% and the wage base on which it is assessed from $7,000 to $11,000 and index it to inflation; give states more flexibility in running their UI systems; and exempt the first $2,500 of UI benefits from federal taxation); (3) make UI a trampoline rather than just a safety net by making it easier for workers collecting UI to enroll in training; (4) require states to hold employees responsible for the costs they impose on the system through layoffs; and (5) strengthen UI's anti-recession function by lowering the threshold that triggers extended benefits. (Contains 18 endnotes.) (MN)
Descriptors: Delivery Systems, Economic Change, Employment Patterns, Employment Practices, Employment Problems, Job Layoff, Job Training, Labor Market, Modernization, Needs Assessment, Part Time Employment, Policy Formation, Position Papers, Public Policy, State Federal Aid, Systems Approach, Taxes, Trend Analysis, Unemployment Insurance, Working Poor
For full text: http://www.ppionline.org/documents/Unemployment_Feb02.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Progressive Policy Inst., Washington, DC.