- Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Receipt of Unemployment Benefits During the Great Recession, by Austin Nichols and Margaret Simms, finds that despite the fact that black unemployment is higher than for other groups, receipt of unemployment benefits is lower. In a lot of cases this is because of unemployment insurance program rules (more on this issue below).
- Disadvantaged Workers and the Unemployment Program, by Maria Enchautegui looks at how disadvantaged workers fare across states and find that differences in state programs drive a lot of the underutilization.
- Identifying those at Greater Risk of Long Term Unemployment, by Greg Acs and Michael Martinez-Schiferl, breaks down who is among the long-term unemployed.
In addition, Stephan Lindner and Austin Nichols look at how unemployment insurance modernization efforts have expanded program eligibility in a longer research report. The most important moderniztaion policy is the "alternative base period", which provides more flexibility in identifying base period wages that are used to determine program eligibility (helping low income workers qualify for the program they have been paying into). Lindner and Nichols estimate that universal adoption of the reforms that are already adopted in many states would increase eligibility from just over fifty percent of the unemployed to seventy percent of the unemployed.
I just started again at the Urban Institute this week after a hiatus since the winter, and I'm currently working on a brief in the same series as the three linked above. It will be on unemployment and joblessness (i.e. - unemployment or out of the labor force) among young black males, as compared to males in other age and race groups.