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TechTank

TechTank Podcast Episode 25: Why state unemployment insurance programs failed workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

We live in a time of digital transformation. Technology is altering how we work, learn, and access public services. At the same time, shifts taking place in the workforce are changing how people navigate complexities in information technology, human resources, and social service delivery.

This especially has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. government enacted a relief package designed to help people cope with the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. However, inadequate unemployment insurance programs in several states left many people in need without the help they required.

On the latest episode of the TechTank podcast, host Darrell West speaks with Annelies Goger, a Metropolitan Policy fellow at Brookings, about why unemployment insurance programs performed poorly during COVID and what policymakers can do to address the challenges related to IT infrastructure, government procurement, and inadequate data collection. The conversation is based on a new paper by Dr. Goger and Janie McDermott entitled Digital Transformation in Labor and Education Systems.

You can listen to the episode and subscribe to the TechTank podcast on Apple, Spotify, or Acast.


TechTank is a biweekly podcast from The Brookings Institution exploring the most consequential technology issues of our time. From artificial intelligence and racial bias in algorithms, to Big Tech, the future of work, and the digital divide, TechTank takes abstract ideas and makes them accessible. Moderators Dr. Nicol Turner Lee and Darrell West speak with leading technology experts and policymakers to share new data, ideas, and policy solutions to address the challenges of our new digital world.

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