Center for American Progress

ADVISORY: CAP Hosts Event on Strengthening Unemployment Protections
Press Advisory

ADVISORY: CAP Hosts Event on Strengthening Unemployment Protections

Washington, D.C. — On Monday, July 11, the Center for American Progress; the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, or GCPI; and the National Employment Law Project, or NELP, will hold a discussion on strengthening unemployment protections to increase families’ economic security and better prepare the economy to withstand future downturns. Jason Furman, Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisers, and Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) will deliver keynote remarks, and a moderated panel will follow.

Two-thirds of Americans will experience at least one year of unemployment—either themselves or through their head of household—during their working years. For the past 80 years, unemployment insurance, or UI, has provided critical protection for involuntarily unemployed workers and their families by replacing a share of lost wages while workers search for new jobs. UI also helps stabilize the economy during downturns by boosting the spending power of struggling families and creating demand in the economy. In 2009 alone, UI kept more than 5 million Americans out of poverty and saved more than 2 million jobs.

As important as it has been in the past, the UI system has not kept pace with changes in the labor force or the economy. In 2014, only about one in four jobless workers received UI benefits—a historic low. With the next recession unpredictable—but inevitable—now is the time to update this crucial part of our social insurance system. The event will address recent recommendations from CAP, GCPI, and NELP on how to modernize UI and establish a new Jobseeker’s Allowance—a moderate, short-term benefit for jobseekers who are not eligible for UI, such as independent contractors and gig economy workers, caregivers returning to the labor market, and young workers with limited job history.

Members of the media can RSVP here.

A live stream will be available at this link.


July 11, 2016
10:00 a.m. ET – 11:30 a.m. ET


Welcoming remarks:
Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy, Center for American Progress

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
Jason Furman, Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisers

Personal reflection:
LaQuita Hatcher, M.S., advocate
Introduced by Rachel West, Associate Director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress

Distinguished panelists:
Valerie Wilson, Director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy, Economic Policy Institute
Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Director of Project on Deep Poverty and Senior Fellow, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality
Claire McKenna, Senior Policy Analyst, National Employment Law Project

Melissa Boteach, Vice President of the Poverty to Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress


Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Liz Bartolomeo at [email protected] or 202.481.8151.