Historic Unemployment Benefits Experiment Finds Results : Planet Money : The Indicator from Planet Money Early this summer, the U.S. inadvertently launched one of the largest unemployment experiments in history to see if unemployment benefits impact worker shortages. Today on the show, we find the answer.

Did Ending Pandemic UI Benefits Push Americans Back To Work?

Did Ending Pandemic UI Benefits Push Americans Back To Work?

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Marco Verch/Flickr
Marco Verch is a Professional Photographer & Twitch Streamer from Cologne.
Marco Verch/Flickr

Last June, we looked at the massive, natural study the U.S. was inadvertently setting up when half of the states opted to turn away federal dollars for enhanced unemployment benefits during the pandemic, while the other half of the country retained the extra benefits until they expired yesterday.

Today we look at the results of that study with University of Toronto economist, Michael Stepner. Professor Stepner and his team analyzed what happened to the workforce in those states and found the decision to end the benefits early had a minimal effect on pushing people back into the work force. Conversely that approach did have significant economic ramifications for the individual states themselves. Essentially, consumer spending dipped substantially.

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