A project of the Economic Opportunity Institute
Many unemployed workers are falling through the cracks in Washington’s UI system. To qualify for “regular” benefits lasting between 13 and 26 weeks, people must have worked at least 680 hours during the previous year, be laid off or otherwise lose their job through no fault of their own, and actively seek work. But with record numbers of people making new UI claims, and record levels of benefits being paid out, only 3 in 10 officially unemployed Washingtonians received unemployment benefits in 2010, compared to half during the 2001 recession.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, Washington’s recipiency rates were higher than in the U.S. overall. However, since 2002 the state rate has been below the national average. That drop in coverage is due to legislative changes in 2003 that made it harder to qualify by establishing more rigorous job search requirements and denying benefits for people who were forced to quit their jobs for reasons such as following a spouse to a new location.
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from the Economic Opportunity Institute. Liquid layout thanks to Matthew James Taylor.