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The $600 (Unemployment Insurance) Question

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Lawmakers recently enacted an unprecedented expansion of Unemployment Insurance, or UI, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing crucial support to dislocated workers and enabling them to comply with state social distancing orders and protect their personal health. Among other changes, Congress expanded program eligibility and increased weekly benefits across the board by $600. With these additional benefits starting to expire at the end of July, policymakers must decide the next course of action. Should these expansions be extended, allowed to expire, or otherwise adjusted to support an economic recovery?

This panel will discuss the impact of the UI expansion on workers, businesses, and the economy. Questions have emerged about how these additional benefits have influenced employers to layoff or furlough workers, their impact on worker behavior and incentives, and the extent to which a long-term expansion could impact the economic recovery. Panelists will discuss these myriad issues and offer policy reforms to help bring workers back into the labor force once it is safe to do so.

Join us on Zoom.

Featured Participants:

Evan Armstrong
Vice President, Workforce Policy, Retail Industry Leaders Association

David Cooper
Senior Economic Analyst and Deputy Director of EARN, Economic Policy Institute

Rebecca Dixon
Executive Director, National Employment Law Project

Michael Strain
Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Julie Squire
Policy Director and General Counsel, National Association of State Workforce Agencies

Moderated by:

Eric Morath
Labor Economics and Policy Reporter, Wall Street Journal

Additional participants to be announced

In light of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, BPC events have shifted to all remote formats, such as video teleconferences or calls.

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