In most cities, it’s very difficult to survive on unemployment benefits alone.
The gap is $3,211 a month in San Francisco, for example.
Workers in just 12 of 109 metro areas could pay for rent, food and transportation using state unemployment insurance, according to a recent analysis from Clever Real Estate.
That’s a function of both cost of living and the generosity of states relative to unemployment benefits.
Some workers have a monthly shortfall extending into the thousands of dollars. That’s largely a result of two factors: high cost of living and the relatively meager generosity of some state unemployment benefits.
Some of the shortfalls were steep.
Also, states have varying degrees of generosity when it comes to unemployment benefits. They set their benefit levels in a range between a minimum and maximum weekly value.
Mississippi, for example, has the lowest maximum of any state, at $235 a week. Massachusetts has the highest: $823 a week, plus an extra $25 for dependents up to a total $1,234 per week.
Benefit levels don’t fully correspond with a state’s cost of living, according to economists.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, unemployment benefits go furthest in two Massachusetts cities — Springfield and Worcester.
California cities – San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland – claimed the three bottom spots relative to affordability.