Secretaries' Innovation Group

New opportunities for states to advance using federal funds - November 2022
* Opportunities to Advance State UI Programs
   Michelle Beebe, Office of Unemployment Insurance, ETA

  • DOL has issued guidance on UI changes including a new $2 billion expansion as part of the CARES Act. The purpose is to detect and prevent fraud; to promote equitable access; and to ensure timely payment of benefits to eligible workers. Funds may be used for federal administrative costs including system-wide infrastructure investment and development. Separately, the use of the new RESEA grant funds must demonstrate the ability to reduce the average number of weeks participants receive UI by improving employment outcomes, and use evidence-based practices as defined by DOL. Michelle Beebe will discuss these new expansions and how states can best take advantage of these opportunities.


Combatting UI Fraud - January 2021
Unemployment Insurance - Comprehensive Fraud Prevention

   Angela Cook, Audit Coordinator, Fraud Investigation Unit, Arkansas Division of Workforce Services 

   Don Denton, General Counsel, Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

Universal Basic Income - September 2020
* Universal Basic Income (UBI)​
   Melissa Kearney, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, Brookings fellow and research associate National Bureau of Economic Research

* What Do Prime Age NILF Men Do With Their Time? A Cautionary Tale for Advocates of UBI

   Nick Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair In Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute

Unemployment Insurance - September 2020

* UI Work Search Waivers - Time to Reconsider
   John Courtney, President, American Institute for Full Employment​


Workforce Roundtable - June 2018

Secretaries’ Innovation Group Proposals to Empower States

   Doug Holmes, President, UWC  

  • Larry and others will lead a discussion of all matters Workforce, and help prepare for the session with Secretary Acosta. 


Unemployment Insurance Proposal - December 2017​         

SIG: Three Demonstration Options to Modernize UI Policy and Empower States

   Secretaries' Innovation Group 

  • An overhaul of the UI system is long overdue.  At our July meeting we discussed the SIG UI proposal in which states could own and manage their state trust fund under better policies favoring return to work, more efficient management and better fraud control.  Several states are preparing to champion the SIG proposal, and they will lead the discussion here and when we meet with members of Congress. 


Proposal for Legislative Action:  The SIG Reform of Unemployment Compensation - July 2017

Proposals to Empower States

   Douglas J. Holmes, President, UWC – Strategic Services on Unemployment & Workers’ Compensation

  • The basic structure of the UI system has seen little to no change in the nearly eighty years it has existed.  We can learn lessons from other programs. Unlike UI, the workers’ compensation system has adapted over time because it incorporates flexibility for states to respond to industry and regulatory change.   TANF is another example - - after most states secured waivers of AFDC requirements, the most successful state experiments were later embodied in the 1996 federal reform.  
  • An overhaul of the UI system is long due.  Federal law should allow states to take control of their trust fund under better policies favoring return to work.  Even more modest changes will allow states to offer innovative methods to find jobs for the short-term and long-term unemployed while preserving benefits to support them in the meantime.


Improving Data Integrity - June 2016

Unemployment Insurance Integrity Center

   Randy Gillespie, Project Director, UI Integrity Project, National Association of State Workforce Agencies
Alabama Work Number
   Brandon Hardin, Food Assistance Director, Alabama Department of Human Resources

  • Using large scale data analytics to identify fraudulent claimants.   Predictive modeling experiments using false email address identifiers, third party cross matches, etc.  Integrity pilots from CA, IA, ID. Development of a national data hub cross states for info on suspicious claimants; increasing the frequency of updating standard databases.  Update from Cissy Proctor FL on their call-in initiative of suspected ineligible UI claimants who must report to the WIOA office and match drivers’ license with state photo. In addition, Alabama will present the results from its use of the Work Number for employment verification.   


Monthly Reporting - June 2016

​* IDES UI Integrity Report
   Jeff Mays, Director, Illinois Department of Employment Security
   Marco Morales, Benefit Payment Control Manager, Illinois Department of Employment Security

  • Not for the faint-hearted because of its burden on business, Illinois has nevertheless enacted a requirement that employers report income on a monthly basis.  Originally for the purpose of reducing Medicaid expenditures, monthly reporting has identified for UI a new $160 million potential capture from overpayments. How to realize this savings is an administrative question. 


Unemployment Insurance - November 2015
​​* SIG Revitalizing Unemployment Insurance


Conference Materials: Unemployment Insurance

**To view power point presentations and supporting materials, click on * bold, underlined title.