Bridging the unemployment insurance gap in New York state

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, New York State came closer than at any point in its history to having an unemployment insurance system that served the whole population. The federal government expanded unemployment insurance to cover freelance workers, self-employed people, and people working in the cash economy. And, New York State put in place the groundbreaking Excluded Workers Fund, a $2.1 billion program that provided unemployment compensation to people left out even after the federal expansion, notably including immigrants without work authorization. Both of these expansions have been hugely successful in helping families through a difficult period and in stabilizing the economy in a time of crisis.