Tracking Unemployment For Selected States

Last summer I posted that I expected unemployment numbers to improve in various states:

See, for a long time I’ve argued that one of the reasons we see extended unemployment is that we offer benefits for so long.  We create the incentive to remain unemployed.  Now, it may be true that the benefits are enough to keep the individual in home and food, but barely.  However, it’s also true that the benefits encourage “under the table” wages.  Either way, the incentive to work is gone.  And when that incentive to NOT work is replaced with the incentive TO work, well, people will, in general, work.

So, to that end, I hereby predict that the following 6, actually 4 –25 is not very different from 26– states will see their employment/unemployment numbers improve:

Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina cut their available weeks down to 20; Arkansas and Illinois cut down to 25; and Florida cut to between 12 and 23 weeks, depending on the state’s unemployment rate.

As of this month, this is where each stands:

That was then.  And the numbers I had in August were through June.  So, how have July, August, September and October done to prove me right?  Or wrong?

I was mostly wrong.  The rates mostly stayed the same or increased  Only in 2 cases is the rate better now than the June numbers.

However, as I am writing this I looked into the chance that the federal government provides benefits:

Here’s how the system works: The jobless collect up to 26 weeks of state benefits before shifting to the extended federal program. Federal benefits consist of up to 53 weeks of emergency compensation, which is divided into four tiers, and up to another 20 weeks of extended benefits. The maximum is 99 weeks.

Small consolation, but that is why my prediction was wrong.  The feds just pick up the slack.




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