Benefits provided through the unemployment insurance system—a partnership between the federal government and state governments—tend to fluctuate automatically with the unemployment rate. In addition, in times of high unemployment, federal lawmakers often supplement regular and extended unemployment benefits with temporary programs. Since 2008, during and after the most recent recession, temporary programs have significantly expanded the benefits available to unemployed people; those temporary benefits are currently due to expire at the end of December 2013.
For more detail on CBO's most recent projections for unemployment benefits, see Unemployment Compensation—February 2013 Baseline.
Christi Hawley Anthony is an analyst in CBO’s Budget Analysis Division.