Posted by | December 3, 2011 16:33 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

As Congress debates an extension of unemployment insurance, the usual arguments about how an extension discourages people from seeking work are floating around.  A colleague of mine, Carl Van Horn, explained why this argument is false.

Myth: Unemployment insurance benefits discourage recipients from looking for work

Fact: The jobless who received benefits more actively sought work than those who did not receive them, the Heldrich Center’s national survey found. Recipients were more likely than other unemployed workers to apply for jobs, search newspapers and online job boards, contact friends or family members about a job or reach out to potential employers by phone or e-mail.

He also explodes several other myths about unemployment insurance, and Congress would be well advised to look at the data as they decide about extending assistance for those who truly need it.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.