Unemployment insurance indexing bill fails in Arizona

The Arizona House of Representatives on June 12 voted against a bill 29-31 that would have indexed the length of unemployment insurance benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. During times when the unemployment rate was at or below 5%, unemployed workers would have been able to collect a maximum of 12 weeks of benefits under the bill. The bill proposed capping the maximum benefit length at 20 weeks during times when the unemployment rate was more than 8.5%.

Arizona’s current maximum benefit length is 24 weeks if the unemployment insurance rate is less than 5% and 26 weeks if the jobless rate is 5% or more.

The Arizona State Senate previously advanced the indexing bill 16-14 on March 2.

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.

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