Unemployment Benefits in Times of Prosperity

Archive Report

Modernization of Unemployment Insurance

Proposals for Revision of Federal-State System

Efforts by the Johnson administration to bring about the first major reform in the American unemployment insurance system in ten years have the support of organized labor but appear destined to meet resistance from the business community. Two important questions are at issue: (1) Whether unemployment compensation, now a composite of variegated and semi-autonomous state programs, should be converted into something more nearly resembling a national insurance system, and (2) whether the system's taxes and benefits should be raised to afford a thicker cushion against a worker's loss of income during periods of unemployment, especially unemployment that extends over a long period of time.

In each of the three years of his administration, 1961–63, President Kennedy asked ...

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