Unemployment Insurance

One of the outcomes of the Great Depression was the formation of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs in 1935. Administered by each state, UI aims to help individuals who have lost their jobs due to economic reasons. The unemployed individual is required to seek employment and must report on a weekly basis to the local agency. The program is financed through federal and state employer payroll taxes. Generally, the worker must be unemployed through no fault of his own (mainly lay-offs). Unemployment benefits are based on quarterly earnings reported by the employer. The amount of earnings and the number of quarters worked are used to determine the length and amount of the unemployment benefit.

  1. U.S. Department of Labor Unemployment Compensation website.
  2. Overview and other sources of information on unemployment insurance (About.com).
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