The percentage of out-of-work Americans receiving benefits from state unemployment insurance (UI) programs reached a historic low in 2014, a new study shows.
According to the Economic Policy Institute's (EPI) report, the national UI recipiency rate -- the share of jobless people receiving benefits from state UI programs -- dropped to 23 percent as of last December. That's less than the previous record-low UI recipiency rate of 25 percent, which was set in September 1984.
Though researchers from the Washington, D.C.-based think tank do credit the decline in part to an improving economy, they say state UI programs "in many cases failed to assist jobless workers" after the Great Recession.
The following was written by Brenna Conway, the Illinois Director for the Roosevelt Institute -- Campus Network.
On the campaign trail, Governor Bruce Rauner shared very little about how he would tackle Illinois' extreme budget crisis. His messaging told us there was a plan, that the focus would be improving the business climate of our state and resolving our overwhelming pension problem, but not how we'd achieve these goals. As we finish up his first month on the job we now have a glimpse into both that plan and his style as a chief executive. The question is, are these things that young people in Illinois can support?
It's clear that the governor has a laser-like focus on our state's fiscal problems, and with a "credible debt projection of over $9 billion for fiscal year 2016," such a focus is vitally important to getting us back on track. But his tactics thus far do not reflect they way that young people in Illinois are hoping to solve our state's problems.
EPI research associate Thomas Palley wrote the report, which also serves as a primer on the how the Federal Reserve, or the Fed, works and offers a blueprint on how to make monetary policy more "job- and wage-friendly."
Over the three decades prior to the Great Recession, Palley says the Fed, the central bank of the United States, "consistently took care of Wall Street first while not caring much about Main Street."
"Since the Great Recession, there has been some shift toward helping ordinary Americans, but even more is needed, and we fervently hope that [Fed] Chair [Janet] Yellen sees this," said Palley, who also serves as AFL-CIO's senior economic policy adviser.
Three of Chicago's five mayoral contenders participated in a youth-led candidate forum Wednesday evening focused on issues that affect the lives of young people of color in the city. Progress Illinois was there for the event.