TechTank: Why State Unemployment Insurance Programs Failed Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Darrell West
Monday, August 9, 2021, 10:19 AM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

We live in a time of digital transformation. Technology is altering how we work, learn and access public services. At the same time, shifts taking place in the workforce are changing how people navigate complexities in information technology, human resources and social service delivery.

This especially has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. government enacted a relief package designed to help people cope with the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. However, inadequate unemployment insurance programs in several states left many people in need without the help they required.

On the latest episode of the TechTank podcast, host Darrell West speaks with Annelies Goger, a Metropolitan Policy fellow at Brookings, about why unemployment insurance programs performed poorly during COVID and what policymakers can do to address the challenges related to IT infrastructure, government procurement and inadequate data collection. The conversation is based on a new paper by Dr. Goger and Janie McDermott entitled Digital Transformation in Labor and Education Systems.

You can listen to the episode and subscribe to the TechTank podcast on Apple, Spotify or Acast.

Darrell M. West is vice president and director of Governance Studies and holds the Douglas Dillon Chair. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of TechTank. His current research focuses on artificial intelligence, robotics, and the future of work. West is also director of the John Hazen White Manufacturing Initiative.

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