NC Budget and Tax Center

FiveThirtyEight: Cutting off federal unemployment insurance benefits hasn’t pushed people back to work

Last week, the folks at five thirty eight, a non-partisan website dedicated to statistically robust analyses of social, political and economic phenomena led by Nate Silver, released an analysis of claims that unemployment insurance cuts at the national level have been good for the country’s economy and jobless workers.

The claims sound eerily familiar to those in North Carolina of a Carolina Comeback. But similar to those claims, the folks at five thirty eight find these national claims to lack support from available evidence.

First from their findings specific to those who have lost unemployment benefits: “Of the roughly 1.3 million Americans whose benefits disappeared with the end of the program, only about a quarter had found jobs as of March, about the same success rate as when the program was still in effect; roughly another quarter had given up searching.”

Second, jobless workers, particularly the long-term unemployed, are not moving to employment. From the article: “Only about 10 percent of the long-term unemployed find jobs each month, a metric known as the job-finding rate. Among those unemployed six months or less, the finding rate is nearly 25 percent….”

Cutting off unemployment benefits have not delivered improved job prospects for the hundreds of thousands still seeking work across the country and in North Carolina. A different approach is needed.

6 Comments

  1. LayintheSmakDown

    May 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I think you are confusing the situation for being good for the jobless with being good for the state as a whole. Getting rid of $2.5 billion in debt over the next year or two will be good for us all, not just one small sliver of the population.

  2. Alan

    May 28, 2014 at 7:56 am

    LSD, I think you’re confusing what is good for the state vs. what is good for GOP/Tallibagger talking points. So, you now state debt reduction is more important that helping those unfortunate enough to find themselves unemployed, yet previously you’ve praised the reduction in NC’s unemployment number? Clearly, all those unemployed people miraculously found themselves jobs, didn’t they? If you’re so concerned with debt reduction, you must be outraged at the tax cuts implemented, right?

    Can you explain how “getting rid of $2.5 billion in debt over the next year or two will be good for us all”, will be helpful to us “all”? I’m sure someone, through no fault of his/her own, struggling to put food on the table in absence of unemployment benefits, doesn’t care too much for the debt, nor the GOPs distain for them, “just one small sliver of the population”.

    The economic benefits of providing unemployment benefits are well known, to both the individuals receiving them and the economy at large, except apparently, to the GOP.

  3. Diane Madison

    May 28, 2014 at 10:52 am

    It is amazing how many selfish people there are who are only concerned with themselves and to hell with anyone else. Someone stated “it is a recession when your neighbor loses his job and a depression when you lose your own.” So go ahead and feel smug about those who are floundering to find work, losing everything they have worked so long to obtain, facing job discrimination in both getting laid off and in finding new employment because of the blatant age discrimination being shown to those over 50; close your eyes and ears to the truth as this country slides into a third world country. But as HP lays people off, as there are more mergers, more tax cuts for the wealthy, less safety nets–soon YOU too will be affected. Then we will see how selfrighteous you are! The truth is the middle class has been HAD and now we are no longer important to corporations who can hire workers overseas. So much for patriotism!

  4. LayintheSmakDown

    May 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Alan/ML….TLDR

  5. Alan

    May 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    LSD/Paid troll,

    TLDR? I’m not a teenage girl up to speed on my texting acronyms.

  6. marie

    May 29, 2014 at 8:31 am

    this is a sad situation when you work hard all your life and wam you get told your not needed and no more job and then you hope and pray for some help from the gov. not welfare but what youve paid taxes for . its sicking when you go into a store and someone is buying sodas and candy with food stamps and your behind them thinking alls i ask is for my federal extention and a little more time to help find a job .