Authored by Caden Rosenbaum, Senior Policy Analyst
Hundreds of thousands of tech industry workers were laid off in 2023. But in some states these layoffs provided an opportunity for workers, thanks to alternative reemployment programs called Self-Employment Assistance (SEA).
SEA programs allow motivated and talented workers to start their own businesses and create new jobs. But despite decades of success, only five states still operate active SEA programs. The lack of programs in the remaining forty-five states translates to thousands of missed opportunities for economic growth across the nation.
However, with new rounds of layoffs continuing on into 2024, states still have an opportunity to rethink unemployment by implementing SEA programs. This policy brief details the economic benefits of Self-Employment Assistance programs, stories of entrepreneurs who relied on these programs, the regulatory barriers to expanding these programs, and recommendations for overcoming them.