Procedural Reform in the Unemployment Insurance System

In the 1990s, we have witnessed a political movement toward smaller governament and reduced federal funding for social benefits programs. At the same time, evidence suggests that the unemployment insurance (UI) system as it works today still may not benefit all of its intended recipients. The need for improved UI services and the scarcity of resources available to meet this need create a tension between political pressures and constitutional considerations of fairness and due process. While constitutional considerations always override political pressures, the real issue is where to strike the appropriate balance between fundamental fairness and economic reality.