Unemployment Insurance and the Job Market

The Wall Street Journal reports that states are likely to cut back on unemployment benefits in the coming year. These cuts are taking various forms. Some states are reducing the number of weeks covered. Others are trimming the share of benefits covered. The program is in need of reform, which I have discussed in the past. Equally troubling is the fact that the unemployment rate remains high at 8.8 percent. The WSJ also reports that the jobs being created are at the income extremes. A recent job report shows average hourly earnings have remained flat because many new jobs are being created in low-paying sectors such as temporary work and leisure industry jobs. Economists weigh in here about what the jobs report means.