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Why Extended UI Benefits were Turned Off Prematurely for Workers in 33 States


The Extended Benefits (EB) program automatically extends how long a person can claim Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits when the share of workers claiming regular UI benefits reaches a certain level. However, a key measure of unemployment through which EB triggers on and off does not count individuals receiving benefits through extension programs, such as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or EB. As a result, when a large share of unemployed workers transition from regular UI to extension programs, EB can mechanically trigger off, even if the total number of UI claimants remains unchanged or is increasing.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants MRP-19-600774 and M21PR3278.

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