Why Scaling Back Unemployment Insurance Could Harm Recovery

Key Takeaways:

  • Georgia is three days away from prematurely cutting pandemic unemployment insurance (UI). The changes will harm an estimated 347,000 Georgians and sever all UI safety net protections for 104,000 self-employed, gig-workers, and part-time workers.
  • Prematurely cutting pandemic UI threatens to erode the worker power it was meant to create by undermining leverage for livable pay and benefits in frontline low-wage industries, particularly restaurants, whose workers have historically been inadequately protected.
  • Labor market data outweighs anecdotal claims that pandemic UI has disincentivized work, as Georgians who lost jobs in Food and Accommodation, Manufacturing and Construction have left the unemployment insurance rolls faster than nearly 80 percent of jobless workers in all other industries.