Methodology & Note on Language

About the research

These recommendations are based on 14 hour-long interviews with human resource professionals who handle unemployment claims for their companies. The sample was national, with participants from 10 states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State. Most participants managed UI claims in multiple states.
  • The first round of interviews, with 6 participants, aimed to understand employer needs and challenges with the UI system as well as their knowledge of the UI process.
  • The second round of interviews, with 8 participants, focused on employer needs and challenges in relation to the specific tasks involved in the administering UI claims. It also included a prioritization activity in which participants ranked the importance of each UI-related task for their company.
Participants were recruited via, a research participant recruitment tool.
  • The first round of research selected for employers that had laid someone off in the last 12 months.
  • The second round of research screened for HR professionals who had managed more than 5 unemployment claims. The participant selection process for the second round of research also favored HR professionals who had managed more than 25 unemployment claims prior to March 2020 and who had been involved in disputes or appeals of unemployment claims.
These screening criteria, especially for the second round, favored mid-sized or large employers.

A note on language

This report describes people claiming UI benefits as claimants rather than former employees because they may be
  • Former employees entitled to UI benefits;
  • Former employees not entitled to UI benefits;
  • Current employees who went on furlow or had their hours cut, now returned to work but mistakenly or knowingly continue to receive UI benefits;
  • Former contractors not entitled to UI benefits, confused about their benefits; and/or
  • People committing fraud.
Last modified 7mo ago