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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Economic Impact of the COVID-19, Pandemic in Riverside County, Unemployment Insurance Coverage and Regional Inequality

  • Author(s): Ong, Paul;
  • McKeever, James;
  • Ong, Jonathan
  • et al.

This brief examines the level of unemployment insurance (UI) coverage at the neighborhood (census-tract) level.The analysis looks at the various Riverside County neighborhoods at risk of not receiving UI benefits as well as somedemographics of those neighborhoods. Current policy efforts such as the CARES Act don’t include provisions forall members of society, and as a result, some groups remain ineligible for UI benefits. This is despite the PandemicUnemployment Assistance (PUA) fund, which aimed to cover workers not typically eligible for UI and those who don’tqualify for CARES Act benefits. An even further extension of UI-related benefits, the Heroes Act, has been proposedto extend benefits to workers ineligible for both the CARES Act and PUA fund. Given that certain members of societymay not qualify for government aid programs, it is important to understand both the geographies and demographicsof at-risk groups. Doing so enables policymakers to ensure that vulnerable neighborhoods and communities do notfall outside the boundaries of economic assistance from pandemic-related disruption.

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