Lauren Bauer, Arindrajit Dube, Wendy Edelberg, and Aaron Sojourner explore the factors leading to slower-than-expected employment gains during the post-COVID economic recovery as well as circumstances holding people back from participating in the labor force.
In this proposal, Arindrajit Dube offers a comprehensive plan to reform and modernize the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system to reflect and align with the challenges of the current labor market. He recommends converting UI into a fully federal program; ensuring that more people who need UI are eligible; creating automatic triggers that extend the potential benefit duration when needed due to economic downturns; implementing more progressive replacement rates; and improving short time compensation, also known as “work sharing”.
In this policy memo, Arindrajit Dube proposes that state and local governments consider median wages and local costs when setting minimum wages, index the minimum wage for inflation, and engage in regional wage setting. This proposal aims to raise the earnings of low-wage workers with minimal negative impacts on employment. This proposal is chapter thirteen of The Hamilton Project’s Policies to Address Poverty in America, and a segment in Improving Safety Net and Work Support.