Unemployment’s Inequalities

Unemployment isn’t fair.

Not only does it suck to be unemployed, but you could be receiving a completely different sum of money than your out of work next-door neighbor, if he (or you) crosses a nearby state line to work. (This strikes us as being particularly relevant as we, in D.C., are near the borders of one other state and one not-a-state.)

“Thirty-three states cover people who leave work for certain compelling family reasons, and 15 offer extra benefits to those who enroll in job training,” the Wall Street Journal reports, and North Dakotans can work part time and still receive some unemployment benefits. Other states, like Florida and Missouri, cap benefits at what seems like a tiny number ($280 a week) and don’t have any significant provisions for working part-time or leaving for family reasons.

Of course, if unemployment benefits in a state are higher, the workers there paid more in taxes to make it that way—but you’re not really taking that into account when you get laid off; you’re just wondering “how much am I going to get and for how long?”

Check out the article and interactive map to learn what your state’s laws are…unless you’re already all too familiar with them.