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LewisUnempIns - Lewis 1 Gina Lewis Unemployment insurance...

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Lewis 1 Gina Lewis. Unemployment insurance reform throughout Eastern Europe began in the early 1990’s and continues today. The unemployment insurance reform significantly affected Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in addition to the other countries that make up Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe is comprised of Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Yugoslavia. Focusing on Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic one can analyze and understand the significant advances that have been made and the comparisons that lead to understanding what could be done next to continue to progress. Unemployment insurance is a social insurance program that provides unemployment compensation for a limited period to involuntarily unemployed workers. Unemployment insurance was introduced to Eastern Europe in the early 1990’s. “Unemployment” was virtually unknown prior to the collapse of State-controlled economies in 1989. In early transition years, regions began to aid those who were out of work. Countries initially overcompensated the unemployed and within a couple of years tremendous cut backs were necessary. Eligibility rules were tightened and the duration of benefits was reduced in nearly every country. In attempt to understand the economies of Eastern Europe and to understand how unemployment insurance affected them, we can analyze three countries. Significant conclusions will be made from comparing and contrasting Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
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Lewis 2 Poland is located in Europe, north of the Czech Republic. Its population is approximately 38.6 million. Poland’s unemployment rates is twenty percent and its labor force is approximately 16.92 million. (World Fact Book, 2003). Of the labor force, agriculture accounts for 27.5%, industry accounts for 22.1% and services account for 50.4%. Poland specifies that unemployed persons can receive unemployment insurance for twelve months if they are registered as unemployed, able and ready to work full time and are between the ages of 18 and retirement. In Poland, the retirement age for women is 60 and 65 for men. They also must have worked a minimum of 180 days in the last year. After qualifying by meeting these requirements, one would receive 36 percent of the national average wage in the most recent quarter for up to one year. Benefits are also given on a quarterly basis. If you are laid off, you are entitled to 75 percent of your previous earnings. School leavers can receive twenty-eight percent of the national average wage in the previous quarter for a total of nine months. Those that are within two years of retiring are eligible if they have worked for thirty or thirty-five year depending on whether they are a man or a woman. 52 percent of the national average wage will be given until they reach the retirement age. Single parents receive unlimited duration. Hungry’s population is about one third that of Poland’s at approximately 10
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LewisUnempIns - Lewis 1 Gina Lewis Unemployment insurance...

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