[Vision2020] Unemployment, 2016, especially in Idaho

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Tue Jun 7 08:06:42 PDT 2016

Unemployment, 2016, especially in Idaho


Unemployment in the United States has steadily improved over the past 
six and a half years. The unemployment rate today is half its 
mid-recession peak, and non-farm payroll employment has increased for 
more than 60 straight months.

Despite the lower unemployment rate, millions of Americans still 
continue to search for work without luck. To support themselves and 
their families, many apply for unemployment insurance while they remain 
out of work.

Unemployment is far from an ideal situation, but the prospects for 
out-of-work residents depend a great deal on where they live. In North 
Dakota, which has a very healthy job market, nearly 75% of the jobless 
workforce receives benefits — at an average of $520.64 weekly. In 
Louisiana, where work is generally harder to come by, just 13.5% of the 
unemployed population receives benefits — at an average of $217.64 weekly.

Based on employment growth, unemployment rates, the proportion of 
jobless residents receiving UI benefits, and the average weekly UI 
payment, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the best and worst states to be unemployed.

In no state does the entire unemployed population receive unemployment 
insurance. A state’s recipiency rate, or share of the unemployed 
population receiving UI benefits, depends on a number of factors and 
varies greatly from state to state. In Florida, the recipiency rate is 
just 10.2%, while in North Dakota it is 74.0%, the highest share.

Recipiency depends on a number of factors, such as the state’s UI 
eligibility requirements, state and federal funding, and the public’s 
awareness about UI programs. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Claire 
McKenna, senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, 
explained that more restrictive UI programs tend to have fewer 
unemployed residents who receive benefits. “In states that have reduced 
benefit amounts and duration and that have restricted eligibility, we 
have seen reductions in recipiency,” she said.

States determine the amount a worker receives in benefits based on a 
proportion of the wages earned at his or her last job. The higher the 
lost wages, the higher the stipend. However, states also set a maximum 
amount for how much can be doled out on a weekly basis, ranging from 
$679 in Massachusetts to just $221 in Louisiana, the highest and lowest 
benefit amounts respectively. The maximum set in each state appears to 
also have a direct impact on the average benefit amount. All 10 of 
states with the lowest average weekly payments also have among the 
lowest maximum weekly benefits set.

For those who are unemployed, just as important as the benefits are the 
chances of finding a job before benefits run out. While not a perfect 
measure, the unemployment rate can be a rough indication of these 
chances. In states with higher unemployment rates, job seekers will 
likely have a harder time finding work. The same is true in states where 
employment is declining meaningfully. On the other hand, in states with 
low unemployment and healthy job growth, the prospects are likely better 
for the unemployed.

Many of the worst states to be unemployed in today made drastic cuts to 
their UI schemes in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Since 2011, a 
number states have cut the maximum durations people can receive 
unemployment benefits. North Carolina, for example, reduced the maximum 
number of weeks a recipient could stay on UI from 26 to just 13 weeks. 
“A number of states favored benefit reductions and eligibility 
restrictions at the expense of sensible financing reforms,” McKenna 
said. As a result, in every state that cut benefits availability by more 
than one week the recipiency rate declined significantly.

*7. Idaho
 >Pct. unemployed getting benefits:* 25.3% (21st lowest)
*> Pct. average weekly wage covered:* 41.5% (10th highest)
*> Unemployment rate:* 3.7% (10th lowest)
*> 1-yr. job growth:* 3.8% (the highest)

No state had greater job growth than Idaho over the past 12 months. 
Employment grew by 3.8%, twice the 1.9% national job growth rate. At the 
same time, the state’s unemployment rate dropped 0.5 percentage points 
to 3.7%, one of the lowest in the country.

The average UI payment in Idaho accounts for 41.5% of the state’s 
average weekly wage, more substantial substitution than the the national 
33.9% replacement rate. Idaho’s UI program services just 25.3% of the 
state’s unemployed, however, somewhat modest coverage compared to the 
national 27.3% recipiency rate.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20160607/721d8774/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list