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Lessons Learned, Paths Forward: Modernizing Unemployment Insurance

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The unprecedented volume of unemployment insurance (UI) claims during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted significant shortcomings in program administration. As job losses mounted, UI faced considerable strain, exposing its limitations. Workers endured long waits for benefit payments and fraudsters capitalized on vulnerabilities in the program.

In response, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included provisions aimed to strengthen UI benefit administration, emphasizing three essential pillars: integrity, equity, and timeliness. To advance these objectives, the U.S. Department of Labor deployed specialized “Tiger Teams” of UI experts, working in collaboration with states to enhance their benefit administration.

Join us for a first look at BPC’s latest report, Modernizing Unemployment Insurance: Lessons from the Tiger Teams, which evaluates the impact of the Tiger Team initiative and assesses state initiatives aimed at improving their UI programs, followed by a panel discussion of state UI directors.


Ben Gitis | Associate Director, Economic Policy, BPC


Justis Antonioli | Research Analyst, Economic Policy, BPC


Michael Burke | Unemployment Compensation Bureau Director, New Hampshire Employment Security

Susan Dickinson |Director, Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits Policy, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

Daryle Dudzinski | Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Labor

Christopher O’Brien | Director of UI Compliance, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

Jack Malde | Senior Policy Analyst, Workforce and Immigration, BPC (Moderator)


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