Repeat Use of Unemployment Insurance
We examine the extent to which unemployment insurance (UI) insures workers against unforeseen events or subsidizes firms and workers engaged in temporary layoffs. Our main source of data is a 5- year panel of UI administrative records from five states. While most claimants receive UI only once during this period, nearly forty percent of claims go to those individuals with three or more years of receipt during the 5-year period. Most repeat recipients are concentrated in seasonal industries and are laid off by the same employer each time. We also find that middle-aged and high-paid workers are more likely to be repeat recipients, suggesting that workers in bad jobs are not the individuals who repeatedly receive UI.