About the Study

In 2018, the Chief Evaluation Office partnered with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to fund contractor The Urban Institute to design and conduct an evaluation that examines critical policy issues, lessons learned, and challenges states faced administering Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs during the Great Recession that began in 2007 and the economic recovery that followed. 

The result of an extensive literature review, two issue briefs explore lessons on benefits extensions and UI recipiency that can inform current and future UI policy and practice. Extending Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Recessions: Lessons from the Great Recession discusses lessons related to benefit extensions adopted and implemented in the Great Recession, including modifications made to the EB program and the emergency EUC program. Covering More Workers with Unemployment Insurance: Lessons from the Great Recession discusses some of the potential issues posed for UI by nonstandard employment, changes in UI recipiency over time, and efforts to broaden coverage in the Great Recession.

This Department of Labor-funded study was the result of a recommendation from the Government Accountability Office. It contributes to the growing labor evidence-base to inform unemployment insurance and employment and training programs and policies and addresses Department strategic goals and priorities.

Project Duration: 46 Months

Contract End Date: July 2022

Contractor: The Urban Institute

For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov


The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.