Policy Brief: Arizona Can Fix its Unemployment System NowOctober 5, 2020
Phoenix — The state of Arizona has the opportunity to leverage $675 million in federal funds through federally-funded unemployment programs if it raises benefits for the unemployed immediately.
In a policy paper released today, the Grand Canyon Institute finds that its recommendations for increased unemployment benefits would generate a $1.6 billion net economic benefit for the state and $107 million in state and local revenue.
Timing is critical for state leaders to take action
Timing is critical as 180,000 unemployed people in Arizona will begin transferring to federal unemployment programs after they exhaust 26 weeks of state benefits. Once they do, their weekly benefit amount will be fixed at the rate they were receiving before transferring from the state unemployment program to the federal — currently capped at $240 a week.
Anyone receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in Arizona will see their benefit amount adjust if and when Arizona increases its weekly benefit amount.
Recommendations for a solvent, sustainable UI trust fund
In its policy paper, the Grand Canyon Institute puts forward recommendations for permanent and temporary financing mechanisms to ensure the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund can cover the cost of increased benefits. Protections have been included to ensure that small businesses don’t bear a disproportionate burden in funding the state’s trust fund, as the current system does.
State leaders are responsible for the state’s unemployment insurance system
While Governor Ducey has repeatedly called on the federal government to take action on unemployment assistance, the Grand Canyon Institute’s recommendations provide a long-term state solution to Arizona’s worst-in-the-nation unemployment benefits.
Click here for a pdf version of the policy paper.
For more information, contact:
Dave Wells, Ph.D. Research Director
602.595.1025, Ext. 2, email@example.com
Amy Pedotto, Executive Director
602.595.1025, Ext. 3, firstname.lastname@example.org