Study of Unemployment Insurance Exhaustees

October 2001


This study examines the characteristics, labor market experiences, UI program experiences, and reemployment service receipt of UI recipients who began collecting UI benefits in 1998. Our objective is to:

  • Gauge the extent to which recent changes in the U.S. labor market may have affected the composition of UI recipients who exhaust benefits
  • Examine their postexhaustion labor market behavior
  • Examine recipients’ experiences with the delivery of reemployment services and determine whether changes in the workforce development system have affected these experiences

Data Summary

The Study of Unemployment Insurance Exhaustees public use data (1998-2001) examine the characteristics, labor market experiences, unemployment insurance (UI) program experiences, and reemployment service receipt of UI recipients. In the study, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. compares the characteristics and experiences of individuals who exhaust their UI benefits with those who receive UI but do not exhaust benefits.

The study sample consists of UI recipients in 25 states who began their benefit year in 1998 and received at least one UI payment, and is nationally representative of UI exhaustees and nonexhaustees. The data come from the UI administrative records of the 25 sample states and telephone interviews conducted with a subsample of these UI recipients. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish between July 2000 and February 2001 using a two-stage process:

  • For the first 16 weeks, all 25 participating states used mail, phone, and database methods to locate sample members, who were then asked to complete the survey.
  • The second stage, conducted in 10 of the sample states, added field staff to help locate non-responding sample members.

The administrative data include the individual’s age, race, sex, weekly benefit amount, first and last payment date, the state where benefits were collected, and whether benefits were exhausted. The survey data contain individual level information about labor market and other activities from the time the person entered the UI system through the time of the interview. These data include:

  • Information about the individual’s pre-UI jobs
  • Recall expectations
  • Up to 5 post-UI jobs
  • Job search information
  • Reemployment services received
  • Education and training program participation
  • Other income or assistance received
  • Demographic information.

The administrative data file contains 27,568 observations and 23 variables, and the survey file contains 3,907 observations and 666 variables.

Download Contents


  • 1README_FIRST.html - download navigation document
  • Data summary
  • UIvar data set, including file contents and variable means
  • National data set, including file contents and variable means
  • program to import SAS export/transport file into SAS
  • Final report
  • Executive summary from the final report
  • Installation of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Final Report

Left Out of the Boom Economy: UI Recipients in the Late 1990s Karen Needels, Walter Corson, and Walter Nicholson, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
October 2001
Prepared for the Office of Workforce Security, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
Disclaimer: The material that you download is provided as it was downloaded to us. If you have difficulty with the download, contact us at Upjohn Institute staff persons, however, are unable to answer any questions about the substance of the research or the data. If you have questions about the layout, variables, or substance of the research, we suggest that you contact the original study author(s).