The Department of Labor's Quality Control report for 1990 shows that, for the most part, employers aren't to blame for unemployment-insurance overpayments. (See "The Hidden Cost of Firing," No. 05921462, May 1992.) Claimants and the state unemployment agencies are most often at fault, according to the judgment of the quality-control investigators. That suggests that companies would do well to monitor their agency and to advise terminated employees about their eligibility for unemployment benefits.

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Claimant 48.4%

Agency 33.4

Claimant and agency 9.8

Claimant and employer 6.2

Employer 2.2

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Source: Department of Labor Quality Control 1990 Annual Report, Washington, D.C.