Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Incentives: How much the Long Term unemployed used to earn when they worked and how much they now receive in cash benefits. This is difficult but numbers don't lie (or do they?)

I used this graph in a prior posting to ask why are the bulk of the long term unemployed in industries that have been employing the MOST people since the official end of the recession in June of 2009 (except manufacturing and construction)

I was curious as to what might be lost wages from work were and how much in cash (unemployment compensation) and near cash (SNAP, or "food stamps" benefits).

I used BLS data (see that below) for the average weekly wages, which I inserted in the graphic for the appropriate job category.

I used the national average for unemployment compensation and SNAP Benefits. Note there will be differences State by State in terms of unemployment compensation amounts--some higher, some lower.

The total in cash and near cash benefits an eligible unemployed worker is eligible for is $832.00 per week.
That is combing the two benefits and assuming for SNAP benefits a family of 4. So, the total could be more or less depending on the number of family members.

Compare the total in eligible weekly benefits to the total in average weekly earnings in each job category.

I believe economists would look at this and see---Incentive(s).

I am neutral on this. What do you think?

Source: NPR
Note: Here is where I found the average weekly wages. I used Dec 2013 weekly wage.
Source: BLS

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