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Workforce Security Research Publications

Workforce security research publications provide program managers, policy makers, researchers, workers, and employers with knowledge about job-search assistance, temporary income support and training they need to get and keep good jobs. The publications also provide information for employers, including how to locate and retain skilled workers. Major subject areas include Unemployment Insurance, Employment Service (Wagner-Peyser Act) topics, and One-Stop career centers. For more information, contact us at

  • 2000-06: Measuring the Effect of Public Labor Exchange (PLX) Referrals and Placements in Washington and Oregon
    This report describes the analyses of the effects of direct placement services provided by public labor exchanges (PLXs) to job seekers in the states of Washington and Oregon from 1987 to 1998. A nationwide system of state-Federal PLXs was created following passage of the Wagner-Peyser Act in 1933. The goal was to determine their value and develop procedures that the U.S. Department of Labor could routinely use to provide meaningful feedback to PLX program operators and state and Federal policymakers.
  • 2000-05: Independent Contractors: Prevalence and Implications for Unemployment Insurance Programs
    This report presents the results of a study on independent contractors (ICs) conducted in 1998-99. It begins with a description of ICs in the alternative workforce and definitions and tests used by federal and state agencies to classify them. Next, the motivations of employers to use ICs, the motivations of workers to become ICs, and selected industries where they predominate are described. Profiles of employees misclassified as independent contractors are described, and the results of an attempt to determine the extent of misclassification of employees as ICs and its effects on Unemployment Insurance (UI) trust funds are presented. Then the efforts of state administrators in dealing with ICs and other significant workforce issues related to ICs are described. Finally, the report presents the findings and recommendations of the study.
  • 2000-04: OWS Research Exchange
    The Office of Workforce Security Research Exchange is published by the Office of Workforce Security, Division of Research and Reporting. The Exchange provides a means of communication between researchers, both inside and outside government, and policymakers.
  • 2000-03: Evaluation of the Impact of Telephone Initial Claims Filing
    Within the past decade, nearly all states have changed, or have made plans to change, the process for filing initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Formerly, to file a UI claim, workers who became unemployed had to appear in person at a local UI office. Under the new procedures, known as telephone initial claims (TIC) filing or remote claims filing, states allow or require workers to file their UI initial claims by telephone. States are making this change primarily to reduce administrative costs and/or improve customer service, but conversion to telephone filing may have other effects as well.
  • 2000-02: Assisting Unemployment Insurance Claimants: The Long-Term Impacts of the Job Search Assistance Demonstration
    The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1991 authorized the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to conduct the Job Search Assistance (JSA) demonstration to test the feasibility of implementing job search assistance programs and measure their effectiveness in promoting rapid re-employment and reduced UI spells among Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants. The demonstration was designed to identify UI claimants, at an early point of contact with the UI system, who were likely to face lengthy UI spells and to provide them with assistance in finding a new job.
  • 2000-01: Unemployment Insurance in the One-Stop System
    The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) requires that employment and training programs be provided through consolidated One-Stop centers so that both individuals and employers can more easily access needed services regardlesss of the funding source. WIA requires that the Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs be partners to these One-Stop systems to enable both claimants and employers to learn about and access One-Stop services through their interactions with the UI program, and conversely, to enable One-Stop customers to learn about and access UI services.
  • 99-8: UI as an Automatic Stabilizer
    In recent years, some economists and policymakers have come to believe that the Federal-State unemployment insurance (UI) system plays an ever-diminishing role as a stabilizing force in the U.S. economy. This report takes a fresh look at UI's effectiveness and relative importance as an automatic economic stabilizer. The report reviews the arguments made by critics of the program, updates previous quantitative studies of UI's economic stabilization effect, and introduces a new, expanded model to test the program's effectiveness over the last 25 years. The report concludes there is no evidence to support the view that the structure of the economy has changed in any way that diminishes the effectiveness of the UI program. This conclusion is demonstrated by the econometric analyses, simulations, and other statistical measurements undertaken in this study.
  • 99-7 : Analysis of Unemployment Insurance Recipiency Rates
    The standard measure of the UI Recipiency Rate (Standard Rate) has fallen from the 1970s to the 1990s, suggesting an erosion in the effectiveness of the UI system. This rate declined sharply from the mid-seventies to the early eighties. From the early eighties to the nineties, the Standard Rate increased modestly, but is still below its mid-seventies level.
  • 99-6 : An Analysis of Unemployment Durations Since the 1990-1992 Recession
    The average duration of insured unemployment has remained higher in recent years than would be expected on the basis of historical data, despite low unemployment rates generally. For example, the 1997 national figure for average duration exceeded 14 weeks, about the level of the late 1980s, when unemployment rates were higher. The 1997 figure also exceeds by one to two weeks the figures recorded in the early 1970s, when unemployment rates were below five percent.
  • 99-5 : UI Research Exchange
    The UI Research Exchange series is published periodically by the Unemployment Insurance Service, Divison of Research and Policy, to present research findings and analyses dealing with unemployment insurance issues.
  • 99-4 : Emergency Unemployment Compensation - Revised Edition
    The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance (UI) program offers assistance to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. In all states, the level of cash benefits paid is based on previous wages earned, and the duration of benefits is limited, typically up to a maximum of 26 weeks. However, the Federal government has extended the duration of benefits during every recession since the 1950s. Most recently, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1991 created the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program.
  • 99-3 : UI Research - An Annotated Bibliography
    After a long absence, nearly 15 years, the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Research Bibliography has returned as both an Occasional Paper and as a searchable database. The Bibligraphy is a useful tool for policy makers, researchers, and others interested in unemployment insurance and related research.
  • 99-2 : UI Claimant Satisfaction Study
    This report presents information from a national survey of individuals who filed claims for unemployment compensation in 1996 and 1997. The study examines their satisfaction with the Unemployment Insurance systems' services, procedures and staff. Results are based on interviews with more than 3,000 claimants from 16 states.
  • 99-1 : Dynamic Models of UI Benefit Receipt
    The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance (UI) system faces many challenges in meeting its two primary objectives of providing temporary income replacement for involuntarily unemployed workers who were recently employed and helping stabilize the economy during recessionary periods. Numerous changes in the United States economy and ensuing changes in Federal and State UI policies have increased the extent to which the UI system is called upon to serve as the primary means of achieving these objectives.
  • 98-5 : Essays on Interstate Competition
    The structure of the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance (UI) system in the United States creates incentives for states to reduce UI tax rates levied on business in an effort to develop or maintain a competitive economic advantage in relation to other states- particulary nearby states that may compete to attract or retain businesses.
  • 98-4 : Implementing Alternative Base Period
    The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the US Department of Labor (US DOL) commissioned Planmatics to conduct a study on the implications of providing an alternative base period (ABP) option to unemployment insurance (UI) claimants in order to provide detailed information for national and state policymakers. The study focused on examining the experiences of six states that provide the ABP options.
  • 98-3 : Labor Market Changes & UI Benefit Availability
    This report examines the evolution of benefit availability in Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. The focus is regular UI, the program that pays up to 26 weeks of benefits to eligible individuals. A major objective of the report is to document changes in the U.S. labor market that may have adversely affected access to UI benefits.
  • 98-2 : Evaluation of the MD UI Work Search Demo
    The Maryland Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Search Demonstration was designed to examine the effectiveness of alternative work search policies in the UI program. In Maryland, to be eligible to receive UI benefits at the time of the demonstration, claimants were required to search for work and to report two employer contacts made per week on their continued claims form. There was no review or verification of the reported contacts with employers, and no specific job search assistance services were offered as part of the work search policy.
  • 97-3 : Evaluation of Short-Time Compensation Programs: Final Report
    Short-time compensation (STC) is an option within the unemployment insurance system that allows employers to reduce the hours of workers, while permitting workers to receive compensation for their partial layoff. This report examines the operations of short-time compensation programs, and is based on research conducted by Berkeley Planning Associates and Mathematica Policy Research under contract to the U.S. Department of Labor. Research activities addressed state and employer participation in STC and a range of issues related to the administration, financing, and impacts of STC programs. Conclusions from this research point to a variety of means for improving the operations of STC programs and increasing employer participation.
  • 97-2 : Unemployment Insurance, Welfare and Federal-State Fiscal Interrelations: Final Report
    This report examines the hypothesis that unemployment insurance (UI) claimants have been shifted from the UI program to federally-financed welfare reform programs in order to reduce the costs of state-financed UI benefits. The cost shifting hypothesis that motivated this study asserts that a part of UI costs has been shifted to welfare programs through reduced availability of UI benefits. The driving force behind cost shifting could be either deliberate (or inadvertent) state actions or evolutionary economic demographic developments affecting UI and welfare caseloads in opposite directions. This cost shifting purports to explain much of the decline in UI recipiency observed over the past twenty-five years. Following an analysis that covers both a literature review and new research, the principal finding can be simply stated: The cost shifting hypothesis is not supported.
  • 97-1 : Employee Leasing: Implications for State Unemployment Insurance Programs
    This report presents the results of an exploratory study of the employee leasing industry. It begins with a description of the employee leasing industry, its size and characteristics. It then presents the results of a survey of State Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax administrators on their experience with the industry and their response in terms of administrative handling of leasing companies and taxing and reporting provisions of their laws. It then attempts to determine the implications of the leasing industry on State Ul trust funds.
  • Archives of Workforce Security Research Publications (1977-1996)

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