As the Great Recession wears on and states have had to pay out ever more unemployment benefits to struggling citizens, flaws in the unemployment system have been laid bare. Twenty million Americans collected benefits last year.
And twenty-six state unemployment trust funds have gone broke in the process. They've borrowed money from the feds to stay afloat. But worse, some have started whittling away at benefits to try and stop the flow of red ink.
The National Council of State Legislatures recently held a webinar on State Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Solvency to help states find strategies to address the problem. You can watch a recording of the webinar here (free registration required).
Yes, economists are saying they see hints that we've turned the corner on the recession. However, unemployment is still at record levels in many states and regions, and states are still struggling to stay afloat. They'll continue to need help for their citizens in greatest need for a long time to come.