Sequester's Impact on Unemployment Insurance

Apr 05, 2013

 With unemployment remaining high, it’s important to understand the effects of the sequester on unemployment insurance programs in the states.

The sequester—the automatic across-the-board federal spending cuts required under the Budget Control Act of 2011—went into effect March 1 after being postponed two months by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. That law reduced the fiscal year 2013 automatic spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act to $85 billion from $109 billion. The passage in March of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, which provides federal government funding through the fiscal year ending September 2013, subsequently modified funding levels for certain programs.

Unemployment insurance programs are affected by the sequester. Among them are the 100 percent federally funded benefits for the long-term unemployed, which include the Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs. Federal grants to states and the District of Columbia to administer unemployment benefits also are subject to the sequester. 

See the state-by-state table and read the full report at Pew's state and consumer initiatives website.

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