Unemployment insurance (UI) is a social insurance program that provides temporary support to unemployed workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and meet additional requirements, which vary by state.
UI is particularly important during recessions, when it stabilizes families, communities, and the overall economy.
During the Great Recession, extending UI benefits was the third-highest GDP multiplier out of over 20 other spending programs that were tested, meaning that it helps to strengthen and grow the economy during times of high economic vulnerability.
For women—who typically experience lower earnings and a higher risk of poverty than their male peers and are more likely than men to be raising children on their own—this support is particularly vital even when we are not in a recession.
In 2017, UI helped keep the incomes of more than 127,000 women above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).