The unemployment rate averaged 9.3 percent in 2009, more than double what it was in 2007 and the highest it had been since 1983. In 2009, nearly one in four people (including children) lived in a family in which at least one family member was unemployed at some time during the year. Among people living in a family with income below the poverty threshold, one in three lived in a family in which at least one person was unemployed at some point.
CBO examined the role of UI benefits in supporting the income of families in which at least one person was unemployed at some point in 2009. The analysis addressed how that role varied with the amount of family income and the number of weeks of unemployment for all family members. CBO also examined how the poverty rate and related indicators of financial hardship would have differed in the absence of the UI program. Although CBO’s calculations are based on data about individual people, the results are presented in terms of families, both to focus on the effects on families and for ease of exposition.
Source: Congressional Budget Office
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