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Unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic: Reducing the impact of this economic downturn

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the critical public health measures taken to resist it, has already resulted in millions of workers being laid off and families threatened with financial ruin. Fortunately, the unemployment insurance (UI) system serves as the first line of defense for laid-off workers. However, as state and federal policymakers continue to move forward with substantial changes to UI to bolster its effectiveness, important policy questions arise: What is different about this crisis that necessitates UI reform? What do time-limited reforms aim to accomplish? What can we reasonably expect the UI system to do for workers and the economy?

On Wednesday, April 1, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution hosted a webcast discussing UI during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it can reduce the impact of the economic downturn. Discussants included Katharine Abraham of the University of Maryland, Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Susan N. Houseman of Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, and Ryan Nunn of The Hamilton Project.

For updates on the event, follow @HamiltonProj, and join the conversation using #UISystem to ask questions or by emailing [email protected].


3:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion

Katharine Abraham
Director, Maryland Center for Economics and Policy; Professor, Survey Methodology, Professor, Economics, The University of Maryland

Arindajit Dube
Professor, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Susan N. Houseman
Vice-President and Director of Research, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Ryan Nunn
Policy Director, The Hamilton Project, Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

Moderator: Jay Shambaugh
Director, The Hamilton Project, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

4:00 p.m. Webcast adjourns

Webinar Event

Online Chat


Follow @hamiltonproj and see the conversation using #UISystem

Available Downloads

Full event transcriptpdf


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