The Heldrich Center for Workforce Development had previously showed that unemployed people receiving unemployment insurance benefits were more likely to search for work in more different ways than unemployed people not receiving benefits. As it turns out, people eligible for unemployment benefits also spend more time looking for work (PDF) than do those who are not, according to a report produced by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, under Sen. Bob Casey. Of the chart above, the report says:
[T]he amount of time long-term unemployed individuals devoted to job
search increased since the Great Recession. However, the increase was greatest among those long-term unemployed individuals who were unemployed due to job loss and therefore likely eligible for emergency federal UI benefits. In fact, since Congress enacted federal unemployment benefits, time spent looking for a job has tripled among the long-term unemployed who are out of work as a result of job loss.
Unemployment benefits are designed to encourage active job searching—in fact, it's a requirement of receiving them. This chart suggests that whether it's that requirement or something else about the program, the unemployment insurance program does in fact significantly increase people's job searching. That's not something Republicans are going to tell you as they fight to cut the weeks of UI eligibility. But it's there.