Statistics on the number of
insured unemployed are collected as a byproduct of Unemployment
Insurance (UI) programs. Workers who lose their jobs and are
covered by these programs typically file claims, which serve as
notice that they are beginning a period of unemployment.
Claimants who qualify for benefits are counted in the insured
unemployment figures. However, they only represent a portion of
the total unemployed.
These data are not used to measure total unemployment because they exclude several important groups. The insured
unemployed excludes unemployed workers who have exhausted their
benefits; new entrants or reentrants to the labor market;
disqualified workers whose unemployment is considered to have
resulted from their own actions (misconduct on the job) rather
than from economic conditions; and otherwise eligible unemployed
persons who do not file for benefits.
In terms of employed workers, the principal groups not covered
by the UI programs are self-employed workers, unpaid family
workers, workers in certain non-profit organizations, and other,
primarily seasonal, worker categories.