Immigration’s wage, employment, and fiscal impacts: Bibliography.

The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration National Research Council. 1997. The National Academies Press. Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers George J. Borjas. 9/10 2016. Politico. The Impact of IllegalImmigrationon the Wagesand EmploymentOpportunitiesof Black Workers The United States

Poll: Half of Americans who lost their job during the pandemic still don’t have one

“The study, which surveyed 13,200 US adults in the first two weeks of August, found some limited recovery with respect to employment: Of all those who said they had lost a job, a third have returned to their old job, and 15 percent say they have a new job.”

“while 58 percent of upper- and middle-income adults who lost a job due to the coronavirus have returned to their old job or gotten a new one, only 43 percent of lower-income adults have been able to do the same.”

“reason for concern. The jobs report signaled a slowdown from earlier in the summer: the economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, and 1.7 million in July.”

We can end America’s unemployment nightmare

“Erin Suggs applied for unemployment in March as soon as the California salon she works at shut down. She figured her case would be pretty straightforward — she works on commission, meaning she’s counted as a regular employee, not self-employed.

But it took the 50-year-old mother of two more than two months to get her benefits, during which time she estimates she and her husband called California’s Employment Development Department, which administers the state’s unemployment system, upward of 3,000 times. It turned out that in filling out the forms, she checked one box wrong. “It just put me in pending hell for 10 weeks,” she says. “There was no way of fixing it.”

Her experience is hardly unique. In California alone, more than 6 million people, or one-third of the state’s workers, have filed for unemployment benefits, and hundreds of thousands of them have been stuck in a weeks- or even months-long backlog. Meanwhile, nearly 1 million people across the United States continue to file new unemployment claims each week, and some 29 million people are receiving some sort of unemployment assistance. And for many of them, navigating the system has been a nightmare.

The coronavirus has brought home the many shortcomings of the American unemployment insurance system and revealed it to be fundamentally — and often intentionally — broken, chipped away over time to ensure that the jobless don’t use it too much, lest anyone get used to it. Unemployment insurance operates under a hybrid state-federal setup that has resulted in an awkward push-and-pull between the federal government, state governments, and employers. No one quite wants to take full responsibility of it, but everyone wants a say.”

” A reimagined unemployment system would treat the jobless like customers, not criminals, while helping them stay afloat as they find their next gig. It would be easier to navigate, pay people more consistently, regardless of where they live, and take into account the wage stagnation of decades past. It would be easier to ramp up in times of crisis and better serve the modern workforce — groups such as gig workers, short-term employees, and people looking for jobs.”

“unemployment insurance has never worked super smoothly in the US. The first state in the country to put an unemployment insurance program in place was Wisconsin in 1932, and the federal program became law under the Social Security Act of 1935. It was set up as a mixed federal-state endeavor for reasons that wouldn’t surprise the average political observer today: There was disagreement over what level of government should be in charge of running the program, and proponents of unemployment insurance were nervous it might be undone by the Supreme Court, which had struck down multiple pieces of legislation. The hope was that this model would give it a better chance with the court, and even if the federal component were struck down, the state components could live on.

“It was designed to have this very broken and fractured structure,” Konczal said.”

” In the US, unemployment insurance is meant to work by replacing about half of a worker’s wages (up to a certain cap) for about 26 weeks. It is intended for those who involuntarily lost their jobs, meaning they were laid off or fired, and not people who quit. Those who quit their jobs can wind up collecting benefits, namely if they can explain that they did so for good cause, such as experiencing sexual harassment, but it often winds up being a battle adjudicated by the state.

The program is financed through state and federal payroll taxes that are supposed to fund administrative systems and the benefits themselves.

Many states have kept those taxes pretty low, resulting in a system that is chronically underfunded. And during periods of stress, the impact of that underfunding really shows.”

“Years of disinvestment in technology and administration led to problems like those now affecting Suggs and millions of unemployed workers across the country. You make one mistake, or your case has one little quirk, and you’re sucked into a bureaucratic black box disaster with no clear end in sight. And then, once the economy gets better, everyone moves on and forgets, and the political impetus to fix these problems fades.”

Plans for Extended Unemployment Benefits, Wage Subsidies Risk Creating a Zombie Economy

“the states that have reopened have seen anemic economic recoveries at best.

Slate’s Jordan Weissman, using data from the app Open Table, notes that restaurant reservations are down as much as 92 percent from last year in those states that have allowed dining rooms to reopen.

A ranking of state jobless claims released yesterday by the personal finance website Wallethub finds that the number of people applying for unemployment is especially high in Connecticut, which had a bad COVID-19 outbreaks and a strict shutdown order, but also in Georgia and South Dakota. The former is lifting its shutdown order, and the latter never imposed one.

This matches with new research showing that economic activity declined at similar rates regardless of when states issued formal lockdown orders. Individuals, not the government, shut the economy down. They’ll also decide when, or if, it reopens.”

“if we can’t expect much of the pre-pandemic economic activity to return, that dramatically weakens the case for propping up businesses as Jayapal and Hawley want to do, or paying workers to stay jobless like the HEROES Act does. Both policies stymie markets’ ability to adjust to COVID-19 while shifting resources from those parts of the economy that can be productive during a pandemic to those that can’t. If there’s no demand for air travel, we’d be better off seeing baggage handlers shift to being warehouse workers or grocery delivery drivers. We want cooks and cashiers to move to restaurants that can figure out a way to stay profitable without dining service.

That doesn’t mean the government can’t provide relief. Even if we allow those readjustments to happen, we’ll still probably have a less productive economy for a while, and the negative effects of that will be concentrated on people who aren’t in a position to adapt. So there’s a reasonable case for cash transfers targeting the poorest Americans. But they shouldn’t be conditioned on staying at their current jobs, and—unlike unemployment benefits—they shouldn’t be conditioned on staying out of the labor force altogether.”

The American unemployment system is broken by design

“The coronavirus crisis..has revealed many uncomfortable truths about America, including the country’s unemployment system: It is broken, and in many cases, it is broken by design. After years of disinvestment and underfunding, benefits systems across the country have been left starved and in disrepair. In many states, benefits are intentionally difficult to collect and application processes complex to navigate.”

” The program is funded through unemployment insurance taxes that employers pay to the state and federal government, and the amount collected by states varies, as do the benefits they provide, the way they set up their systems, and the way they deal with applicants. ”

“so, what the country has wound up with is a patchwork of unemployment systems.”

” Unemployment insurance is supposed to act as a stabilizer in an economic downturn, but ungenerous benefits mean that’s not the case. “In some of these states, the benefits are so hollowed out that it couldn’t be countercyclical,” said Rebecca Dixon, executive director of the National Employment Law Program, meaning benefits are unable to help boost the economy when it’s needed most.”

“The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed into law in March, makes some temporary adjustments to unemployment insurance. It adds on $600 a week in federal benefits through the end of July, extends eligibility by 14 weeks, and expands the pool of workers who can apply to include freelancers, gig workers, and those who are self-employed. Still, poor infrastructure and funding in different states make accessing those benefits hard.”

““Many states have refused to raise taxes to fund unemployment insurance. They’re always betting that the feds will bail them out if things get really bad, and no one expected it to get this bad, just a crush,” said Holzer.”

“in many parts of the country is unemployment systems have gradually been whittled down. Part of the problem is that many people on the left have been more focused on getting aid to workers, and many people on the right have focused on cutting funding altogether, so infrastructure has been neglected. People pay attention when there’s a crisis, and then it’s too late to act.”

“multiple states are still using COBOL, a coding language dating back to the 1950s, in their systems. In April, New Jersey put out a call for COBOL programmers to help reinforce its program. The problem with the language isn’t necessarily that it’s a bad one, it’s that there aren’t a lot of people who know how to use it anymore. That means there aren’t enough people to fix bugs in the system or update it to take on an influx of applications.”

“States employ a number of tactics to keep people from collecting and to discourage them from accessing the system. They put a hard-nosed administrative face to clients by way of work search verification, fraud prevention, identity verification, and adding in bureaucratic layers that are difficult to maneuver around. And by cutting back benefits, they also make it so workers feel like it’s less worth the hassle to apply. (Part of the problem now is that the $600 in weekly federal money is pretty motivating.)”

“unemployment insurance is not designed for the modern-day workforce and leaves people out. When the program was created in the 1930s and intervening years, it was designed for a largely white male workforce who were breadwinners and who were laid off for short periods of time and called back, Dixon explained, like a factory that would temporarily put workers on leave during a slow period. Employers wanted unemployment because they wanted their workers to be available to come back. But today, more layoffs are permanent, and there’s no relationship with employees.”

“If the US were to start over, it may very well try to deal with unemployment insurance at a federal level, Vroman said: “Internationally, almost every country that has unemployment insurance has a national system.””