The record 20 million Americans who collected unemployment insurance benefits last year landed on a safety net that was already deeply frayed.
New Interactive: ProPublica Predicts if Your State's Unemployment Insurance Fund Is About to Hit the Skids
A historical compromise has left responsibility for unemployment benefits largely in the hands of states, and they have fulfilled this charge with varying degrees of effectiveness.
In a series last summer with public radio’s Marketplace, we reported that only a handful of states had built up reserves sufficient to weather the Great Recession – and forecast a spate of borrowing by states where reserves ran out.
Half a year later, the direst predictions seem to be coming true: So far 25 states have borrowed more than $25 billion to keep benefits flowing after their trust funds ran dry. In many other states the situation is deteriorating fast.
38,800 California Jobs Erased