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Unemployment insurance services vary by jurisdiction and may include cash payments, assistance with housing, and job seeking and placement services. While the foundation of unemployment insurance services is typically the provision of income for those who have lost their jobs and are looking for work, many governments understand the necessity of additional services. In the United States, these services are often focused on helping unemployed individuals find new work or becoming retrained for a different career. In other areas, the emphasis on helping people find work also exists, though unemployed workers may also be entitled to supplementary assistance with paying housing costs or receiving additional health care services.
Many governments recognize that it is possible for workers to become unemployed through no fault of their own. They also recognize the importance of providing some type of support for these workers while they attempt to find new work. These countries typically offer unemployment insurance services to workers as a temporary safety net. These programs may be funded by general tax revenues or by employers through payroll taxes.
Unemployment insurance services do provide limited financial support to unemployed workers, but the emphasis of these programs is typically on getting workers reemployed as quickly as possible. For example, in the United States, those who receive unemployment insurance services must demonstrate that they are actively looking for work. This is typically done by requiring those who receive benefits to keep a log of their job search efforts, which may be audited by state unemployment departments while a person receives benefits. As such, many state agencies have several services available to those who wish to obtain new employment.
As a way of supporting reemployment, many unemployment offices provide the means for people to conduct job searches. These offices may offer the use of computers with Internet access for those who wish to search and apply for jobs. They may also offer phones and fax machines for making job inquiries and submitting resumes. Career counseling is often available, and some agencies may even provide assistance for those unemployed workers who wish to start their own businesses.
Another aspect of unemployment insurance services is facilitating job training and retraining for those who may be having difficulty finding new employment. Unemployment offices may be provided with grant money that they can spend on employment training. These workers may be provided with free or subsidized career training so that they will be better able to find work.