Map: Unemployment benefits vary by state
Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
Graphic by Melanie Taube, Investigative Reporting Workshop
States shown in blue provide less than 99 weeks of unemployment insurance.
Source: Workshop research
Thanks to several rounds of federal extensions, many states offer up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. The map shows the states that offer 99 weeks or more of unemployment benefits in white, and all others that offer less than 99 weeks in blue.
The extensions are pegged to the level of unemployment, so states where employment is relatively high offer less long-term support.
Arkansas recently cut back one week of unemployment insurance, from 26 basic weeks to 25 (a change that takes effect in late July ). Michigan and Missouri have cut benefits from 26 weeks to 20 (Missouri’s cuts were immediate, and Michigan’s take effect in early 2012 ). Similar legislation in Florida has been awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature since May.
Iowa is unique in going the other direction: Some people are eligible for 39 weeks of basic help, which, when combined with all the federal extensions, can grant as many as 112 weeks of benefits.
But all the federal extensions are slated to expire in 2012, so unless Congress takes action, unemployed Americans will be abruptly bumped back to their state’s basic benefits come next year. Read more