The Oklahoma House of Representatives gave final approval May 17 to House Bill 1933, which would index unemployment insurance benefits, tying the length of benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. The Seante passed the bill April 26. If the governor approves the bill, Oklahoma will provide shorter periods of benefits during times of low unemployment and longer periods of benefits during times of high unemployment.
At least five states have already implemented some form of unemployment insurance benefits indexing: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, and North Carolina.
Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.
The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.