It's not a surprise that if you cut either the amount of unemployment benefit, or the time they can receive it, then someone who is unemployed will find a new job more quickly. Richard Layard has for decades been pointing out that Europe's generally higher long term unemployment rate, while short term unemployment is about the same, compared to the US is a result of our unemployment benefits not being time limited, theirs being so.
However, there's another point to be made here, which is that we don't want someone unemployed simply to take any job at all as a result of fearing starvation. We would rather that there's enough support, and thus enough time, for round pegs to find round holes. Thus there's an argument for generous support for a considerable period of time.
But how generous and how considerable? Rather less than many think perhaps:
Newly unemployed Floridians receive less generous jobless benefits for fewer weeks than allotted in most states.
The result? They find new employment more quickly, and those jobs pay as well as positions found by workers in other states, according to data the JPMorgan Chase Institute released Thursday.
In Florida, the maximum length of unemployment-insurance benefits is tied to the unemployment rate in the state. Last year it was 14 weeks. This year it’s 12 weeks. Florida is one of a number of states that has cut the maximum amount of benefits in recent years. Most states provide the newly jobless 26 weeks, or six months, of support.
Even with this less time to search the jobs found seem to meet that round/round peg/hole qualification. As the jobs are paying as much after the shorter job search.
Cutting unemployment benefits, cutting the time they are paid for, seems to reduce unemployment. Which is where we came in of course.