Unemployment Insurance and Underemployment
Should unemployment insurance (UI) systems provide coverage for underemployed job seekers? Based on a statistical analysis of Norwegian unemployment spells, we conclude that the answer to this question is yes. Allowing insured job seekers to retain partial UI benefits during periods of insufficient part-time work not only reduces UI expenditures during the part-time work period, but it also unambiguously reduces the time until a regular self-supporting job is found. Probable explanations are that even small temporary part-time jobs provide access to useful vacancy information and that such jobs are used by employers as a screening device when hiring from the unemployment pool.
Godøy, Anna og Knut Røed