Management Report: Preliminary Information on Potential Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Receipt of Unemployment Insurance Benefits During the COVID-19 Pandemic [open pdf - 265KB]
From the Document: "The unemployment insurance (UI) system provides a vital safety net for individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own, and this support is essential during widespread economic downturns. States design and administer their own UI programs within federal parameters, and the Department of Labor (DOL) oversees states' compliance with federal requirements, such as by ensuring states pay benefits when they are due. During the pandemic, the CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security] Act supplemented the regular UI program by creating three federally funded temporary UI programs that expanded benefit eligibility and enhanced benefits. These three programs--Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)--are set to expire on September 6, 2021. [...] The purpose of this report is to inform DOL about potential racial and ethnic disparities in the receipt of UI benefits, which we have identified in our preliminary data analysis for our ongoing work. According to DOL, ensuring equitable access to UI benefits is a top priority for the agency, and in March 2021, Congress appropriated $2 billion to DOL to promote equitable access to UI benefits, among other purposes. [...] [W]e are sharing this preliminary information for DOL to consider in determining whether it needs to engage with states at this point to ensure equitable access to the UI system."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/