Where does unemployment insurance cover basic needs like housing, rent, and transportation?
In December, the federal government extended unemployment benefits, including a boost of $300 per week in addition to state-level calculations. This map shows where in the US unemployment insurance is enough to cover basic expenses like rent, food, and transportation.
Published on Tue, January 5, 2021 12:29PM PST
In 2020, the federal government passed several provisions extending unemployment insurance to address the economic fallout related to the pandemic. Between April and July, the federal government provided an additional $600 a week to those on unemployment. The extension expired on July 31.
The rent data used in this interactive map is based on 2021 fair market rent data from HUD. The original data is primarily divided by HUD-defined metro or non-metro areas. In most states, individual counties are assigned to a single area. However, in New England, counties are sometimes split between various areas. In those cases, this map uses rent data from the HUD-defined area with the most population in the county.
Note on food and transportation
Food and transportation data comes from the BLS 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey. Based on the survey, those who are among the middle 20% of income earners spent $625 on food every month and $821 on transportation.