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July 1997

Unemployment insurance: measuring who receives it

Stephen A. Wandner, Thomas Stengle

Over the past few years in any given month, approximately one-third of the unemployed workers who are counted as part of the unemployed by the Current Population Survey file for regular unemployment benefits. This article presents the proportion of the total unemployed filing for or collecting unemployment insurance, otherwise known as the recipiency rate. It discusses implications and uses of the rates. It concludes that there is not just one appropriate unemployment insurance recipiency rate, but a series of alternative rates that can be used for different ends.

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