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Poverty and Income Assistance

Friday, July 6, 2012

Three Years of Sluggish Recovery Means UI Benefits are Still Critical for Millions of Unemployed Workers

Jasmine V. Tucker, National Academy of Social Insurance

Three years into a very modest recovery, unemployed workers continue to experience hardship and are facing cuts to emergency unemployment insurance benefits.

June 2009 marked both the official end of the Great Recession and the beginning of the current recovery, which has been plagued by high unemployment rates, historic long-term unemployment, and sluggish job growth. The national unemployment rate in June 2012 was 8.2%, 3.2 percentage points higher than at the start of the recession in December 2007, and the employment situation in most states is still bleak. If we consider a broader unemployment measure that includes workers who have given up searching for work and those who are underemployed (employed but not working as many hours as they would like), the unemployment rate is much higher -- 14.6%.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Social Security: It’s for young people, too

Elisa Walker, National Academy of Social Insurance

I’m a young American; I value Social Security; and this week in particular, I’m feeling reassured that Social Security is on solid footing and will be there for me when I need it. In fact, I see it as a great investment. 

To some, these statements might seem unrealistic, especially given all the negative media coverage that followed the release of the 2012 Social Security Trustees Report last week. But despite the doomsday responses, the reality is actually reassuring – especially for today’s young people, who are used to hearing misleading accounts to the contrary.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

World’s best investment? Delaying Social Security

Thomas N. Bethell, Visiting Scholar, National Academy of Social Insurance

That headline – atop a recent Wall Street Journal column by Jack Hough, associate editor of SmartMoney.com – pretty much says it all.

Hough writes: “For an investment return that tops those offered by hedge funds, insurance firms or Wall Street banks, baby boomers should look to Social Security… All you need is a way to make ends meet while delaying the start of Social Security benefits from age 62 to as old as 70.”

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Employers in Many States Face Tax Hike To Help Repay Federal UI Loans

Jasmine Tucker, National Academy of Social Insurance

Employers in 28 states owing $38.2 billion to the federal government for unemployment insurance benefits incurred an increase in their Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax this week.  Revenues from the tax increase will go directly toward repaying the balance of the loans.  A total of 35 states opted to borrow federal dollars because their unemployment insurance trust fund reserves were insufficient to weather the recent economic downturn.  The deep and prolonged Great Recession, current sluggish recovery, and continued high rate of long-term unemployment have further reduced revenues and increased outgoing unemployment insurance payments.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Project on Social Security in Rural Areas Reveals Impact of the Program on Local Economies

Jennifer Clark, National Academy of Social Insurance

The Center for Rural Strategies, an awardee of NASI’s Improving Lives of Vulnerable Americans Through Social Security project, recently analyzed Social Security recipients by county in the U.S. The Daily Yonder (affiliated with the Center for Rural Strategies) used this breakdown of Social Security beneficiaries to find the counties most dependent on Social Security.

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