In New York State, advocates, legislators, and the governor are currently debating the merits of a proposed Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP), which would provide coverage in case of job loss to New York State workers who are not able to get regular unemployment insurance.
In Bridging the Unemployment Insurance Gap, Immigration Research Initiative (IRI) previously estimated that the program would cost $500 million, and would cover 750,000 New Yorkers, with 30,000 getting the benefit at any given time.
Benefits in Six Regions of New York State
Immigration Research Initiative estimates that the 750,000 workers statewide who would be covered by the UBP includes 480,000 workers in New York City, 90,000 on Long Island, 50,000 in the Lower Hudson Valley, 30,000 in the Mid-Hudson Valley, 20,000 in the Capital District, and 90,000 in Northern and Western New York. These people would have the security of knowing that if they lost work, they would have a safety net to fall back on.
IRI estimates that about 30,000 people would be unemployed and getting the $1,200 monthly benefit at any given time. This includes 17,000 in New York City, 3,500 on Long Island, 1,800 in the Lower Hudson Valley, 1,200 in the Mid-Hudson Valley, 1,300 in the Capital District, and 4,800 in Northern and Western New York.
This state allocation would also be an economic boost to each region of the state. In New York City, that translates into $250 million per year, on Long Island $45 million, in the Lower Hudson Valley $25 million, in the Mid-Hudson Valley $18 million, in the Capital District $19 million, and in Northern and Western New York $70 million. This is the direct economic impact, before counting the multiplier effect when families spend money on food, rent, job training, or other expenditures that help them through a challenging time but also boost local businesses. In addition, the Capital District can be expected to benefit up to $75 million that would be spent on administration of the program, including hiring state employees and technology contractors.
Unemployment Bridge Program: Benefits in Six Regions of NYS
|Immigrants lacking work authorization||Self-employed and freelance workers||Construction workers in small jobs, landscapers, domestic workers||Re-entering the labor force after incarceration or detention||Total||Economic Boost to Region|
|New York State|
|New York City||$250 million|
|Long Island||$45 million|
|Lower Hudson Valley||$25 million|
|Mid-Hudson Valley||$18 million|
|Capital District||$19 million|
|Northern and Western NY||$70 million|
Fig. 1 Totals are independently rounded. Number covered is how many who currently cannot get unemployment insurance could qualify if they lost their job. Recipients is the number who are projected to be receiving the benefit at any given time.
These regional estimates were developed with a methodology described fully in Bridging the Unemployment Insurance Gap. Data from the Prison Policy Institute’s “Where People in Prison Come From: The Geography of Mass Incarceration in New York,” by Emily Widra and Nick Encalada-Malinowski, allowed IRI to estimate the total re-entry population in each region based on the distribution of people in state prison.
For an informational one-pager on the Unemployment Bridge Program, click here.