More About William Chen

William Chen

William Chen joined the Center in August 2012 as a Research Associate with the Federal Fiscal Policy division.

Full bio and recent public appearances | Research archive at

Update: Where Things Stand for the Unemployed

June 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Emergency federal jobless benefits expired in December, and the Senate-passed extension, which only provides benefits retroactively through May 31, continues to languish in the House.  This means that only regular state UI benefits — 26 weeks, in most states — are available to qualifying workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.  We’ve updated our backgrounder on the weeks of UI available in each state to reflect where things stand for the unemployed across the country.

This map and table show the number of weeks available in each state, along with the state’s three-month average unemployment rate.  Click here for state-by-state figures on the nearly 5 million workers who have already lost emergency unemployment benefits or will run out of regular benefits through the end of 2014 and not receive emergency benefits if policymakers don’t restart the program.

Georgia and North Carolina will update the number of weeks of UI they offer for the second half of 2014 at the beginning of July, further cutting their already shorter-than-standard benefits.

Recent Spending Cuts Outweigh Tax Increases 3 to 1

March 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

We noted Policy savings to reduce deficits largely come from program cutsyesterday that legislative changes account for most of the nearly $5 trillion decline since 2010 in projected deficits for the 2015-2024 decade.  Those legislative changes, in turn, consisted mostly of program cuts, which outweigh revenue increases 77 percent to 23 percent (see graph).

This lopsided 3 to 1 ratio strongly suggests that further deficit reduction should place greater emphasis on revenue increases.  And the deductions, exclusions, preferential rates, and other tax breaks known collectively as tax expenditures are ripe for reform.

The four major pieces of deficit-reduction legislation enacted since the fall of 2010 were the Budget Control Act of 2011, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (also known as the Murray-Ryan deal), and this year’s farm bill.

Altogether, they cut projected deficits over 2015-2024 by $4.1 trillion: about $3.2 trillion from program cuts (including the associated interest savings) and $950 billion from higher revenues (again, including the interest savings).

See our new paper for details.

Mapping the Impact of Letting Emergency Jobless Benefits Expire

December 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

As we’ve written, most recently yesterday, the economy hasn’t yet recovered enough to pull the plug on federal emergency unemployment compensation (EUC).  This clickable map shows the number of weeks of jobless benefits available across the country if those benefits continue — as well as the dramatically bleaker landscape for unemployed people if they don’t.