Academy Roundtable: Rethinking Unemployment Insurance

Academy Roundtable: Rethinking Unemployment Insurance

October 16, 2015, 9:00 am 2:45 pm
1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Suite 500
Washington, D.C., DC 20036-20036
United States
Contact Elliot Schreur

Academy Roundtable: Rethinking Unemployment Insurance
1200 New Hampshire Ave NW, 5th Floor Conference Room
Friday, October 16th, 2015

The nation’s leading experts on unemployment insurance came together at an Academy roundtable on Friday, October 16, 2015 to discuss the pressing issues facing this essential social insurance program. Experts from academia, government, and public policy institutions discussed challenges facing UI, from reforming program financing to restructuring benefit determinations. Participants considered strategies for how to promote reemployment through the UI system, how to redesign the program’s financing, and how to reshape the overall system. In addition, attendees discussed agendas for future work on UI, both from within government administration and in the policy-research fields. A brief from the roundtable’s findings is forthcoming.

9:00-9:15: Welcome & Opening Remarks
Stephen Wandner, William Rodgers, Co-conveners

9:15-10:45: Promoting Reemployment through Unemployment Insurance
Featured Speaker: Suzanne Simonetta, Chief, Division of Legislation, U.S. Department of Labor

Topic: The Administration’s proposals and the current state of UI work supports

Leader: Stephen Wandner

Discussion questions:

  • What metrics can we use to understand the changing nature of employment in the U.S.?
  • What are the effects of contingent work and permanently displaced workers on UI adequacy?
  • How can the UI program evolve to meet changing needs?
  • Integration with reemployment services?
  • Expansion of Reemployment and Eligibility Assessments (REAs)?
  • Work sharing?

10:45-11:00: Break 

 11:00-12:15: The State of Unemployment Insurance Financing after the Great Recession

Leader: Christopher O’Leary

Discussion questions:

  • What lessons can be learned from the experience of UI during the Great Recession?
    • Use of EUC/EB programs, macroeconomic effect, trust fund resilience?
  • Does the structure of the UI program make sense for the 21st century?
    • State-based structure, experience rating, tax base, worker coverage, benefit adequacy?

12:15-12:30: Break 

12:30-2:00: Working Lunch: Reinventing the UI Program 

Leader: Rich Hobbie

Discussion questions:

  • What kinds of employment can and should be covered by a reformed UI program?
  • What policy steps can be taken to ensure broad coverage of, and adequate benefits from, UI in the modern economy?
  • What research still needs to be done on UI?

2:00-2:45: Priorities for Future Work on UI 

Leaders: William Rodgers, Stephen Wandner

Discussion questions:

  • How can NASI best contribute to the work of UI researchers and administrators?
  • What topics should be covered in a future NASI project or conference on UI?
  • What essential points must be included in the written report of this roundtable?

2:45: Adjourn