While the U.S. unemployment rate has steadily improved since the Great Recession, millions of Americans remain out of work. Every week, hundreds of thousands of the nation’s jobless apply for unemployment insurance, relying on the program to avoid severe financial hardship.
Since its establishment during the Great Depression, the U.S. unemployment insurance program has been a key component of the nation’s social welfare system. Unemployment insurance provides a weekly or biweekly stipend to jobless Americans to partially replace lost wages. The benefits help individuals maintain their quality of life in between jobs, and also help stabilize the economy by stimulating consumer activity during periods of high unemployment.
To determine the best and worst states to be unemployed in, 24/7 Wall St. compiled an index of various measures related to a state’s job market and unemployment insurance program. In the best states to be unemployed, people are less likely to be out of work for long, and a large share of the jobless receive generous UI benefits.