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  1. Social Security and Retirement
  2. Retirement Age and Social Security
  3. Working at Home
  4. Longer Years of Retirement
  5. Employment trends
  6. Foreign workers in the United States
  7. Mexican Workers in the United States
  8. Workplace Safety Standards
  9. Work-related Injuries and Deaths
  10. Growth of Large Corporate Farming
  11. Union Membership Across the United States
  12. Laws Regarding Working Women
  13. Labor Contracts in the United States
  14. Right-to-Work Laws
  15. Public worker unions in the United States
  16. Unemployment insurance
  17. Equal Opportunity Employment Laws
  18. Workers’ Compensation
  19. Minimum Age for Agricultural Employment
  20. Minors in the Workplace
  21. Minimum Wage
  22. Employment of Persons with Disabilities
  23. Major Equal Employment Legislation in the U.S.
  24. Employment in the Service Sector
  25. Unemployment
  26. State’s Unique Worker’s Compensation Laws
  27. Life on Unemployment
  28. Minimum Wage and Poverty
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A woman files for unemployment benefits at a Georgia Department of Labor office.
Photo Courtesy the Savannah Morning News. Photo by Scott Bryant.
Life on Unemployment
Each state manages an unemployment insurance program and pays money directly to people who qualify for the benefits. Instead of a paycheck, they get a smaller unemployment check from the government each week. Only workers who have been laid off can receive unemployment insurance. Workers who quit voluntarily, retire, or who are fired are ineligible for the program. Laid off workers in most states can receive unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. In states with higher unemployment rates, this eligibility period may be longer. The unemployment benefits for those who had an average income before losing their job is about one third of their gross pay. Most workers find new jobs or are recalled by their old employers several weeks after they begin receiving unemployment benefits. A survey of unemployed workers, conducted in 1991, found that when looking for a new job many unemployed workers wanted a higher wage than they had been receiving at their old job. Unemployment benefits gave these workers longer to find a job with better pay.
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