Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Multimedia Gallery

You are here: Census.govNewsroomMultimedia GalleryAudioProfile America › Unemployment Insurance
Skip top of page navigation

Unemployment Insurance

January 28, 2015

You may Listen or download this story in .mp3 format or as a .wav file.

Profile America — Wednesday, January 28th. As the Great Depression approached its worst, Wisconsin made the nation's first governmental direct relief effort for the unemployed. On this date in 1932, it enacted unemployment insurance, soon followed by a half-dozen other states before the Social Security Act in middecade moved all states to adopt such programs by 1937. Wisconsin's program issued its first unemployment check in August in the amount of $15. By 2011, states and local governments took in almost $88 billion from the payroll tax to fund unemployment insurance. But they spent nearly $122 billion in such assistance. States have nearly $3 trillion in combined insurance trust funds, but an aggregate deficit of $18.5 billion for covering unemployment. Profile America is in its18th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Kane's Famous First Facts, 4525
Wisconsin effort
National response
State & local unemployment revenue and expenditure pages 6 & 8

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: January 05, 2015