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Unemployment Insurance: Pennsylvania

Unemployment Insurance requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Patricia A. Morley, Research and Writing Associates


  • Unemployment insurance is a nationwide program created to provide partial wage replacement to unemployed workers while they conduct an active search for work. Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state program based on federal law and executed through state law. See Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance.
  • The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) was created to finance all administrative expenses of the federal/state unemployment insurance system and the federal costs involved in providing benefits. The Pennsylvania unemployment tax is used only for the payment of regular benefits to qualified unemployed workers. See Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance.
  • Unemployment benefits may last for up to 26 weeks. See Benefits.
  • Claimants must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits. See Eligibility.
  • Claimants may be denied benefits under specified circumstances. See Disqualification.
  • Pennsylvania has specific notice, posting and recordkeeping requirements related to unemployment insurance. See Notice and Posting Requirements; Recordkeeping.
  • Pennsylvania has a Shared-Work Program, which allows employers the opportunity to avoid layoffs when confronted by a temporary decline in business. See Shared-Work Program.