Michele Evermore

Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation

Washington, DC



  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • National Employment Law Project


  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Workers’ protections and rights
  • Employment and the labor market


  • UMass Amherst, M.S.
  • Iowa State University, B.A.

Recent Coverage

NOV 14, 2023

NextGov: Labor Department calls on states to reevaluate unemployment benefit accessibility  

“People apply for UI on one of the worst days of their lives, and no one should have to deal with an overly burdensome, unfriendly process,” Michele Evermore, senior fellow at the Century Foundation and the former deputy director for policy in the Labor Department’s Office of Unemployment Insurance Modernization told Nextgov/FCW in a statement. “Doing the things this [guidance] requires to prompt equity will make systems easier for everyone to navigate.”

OCT 31, 2023

POLITICO: The $2.5 billion question

There’s a chance the federal government decides to forgive the state’s pricey unemployment mistake. But that’s unlikely, Michele Evermore, a former policy director at DOL’s Office of Unemployment Modernization, told Playbook. 

“If Massachusetts gets away with not spending their [unemployment insurance] dollars on their UI program, then other states are gonna say: ‘Hey, wait a minute, that’s not fair,’” Evermore said. “You have to balance as little pain to the state as possible, but also something that won’t cause consternation in terms of fairness.”

OCT 10, 2023

CNBC: What workers on strike need to know about collecting unemployment benefits 

There is also an effort underway on the federal level to expand the unemployment program to strikers, said Michele Evermore, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. “There is an entire generation of labor activists who are really pushing the ball, but also who haven’t lived through the hardship and uncertainty of a strike and are realizing the need for help getting through it,” Evermore said.

SEP 25, 2023

CalMatters | After hot labor summer, will Gavin Newsom sign bill giving unemployment benefits to striking workers?

Going on strike is always risky for workers, because they can be permanently replaced, said Michele Evermore, a senior fellow at the left-leaning think tank The Century Foundation who studies unemployment. “They don’t have to just deal with the uncertainty of unemployment, but they also have to go out on strike lines,” she said. “It’s not a lazy person’s sport.”

SEP 21, 2023

Detroit Free Press | An autoworker’s guide to determine eligibility for jobless benefits during the strike

Most states also allow benefits to workers affected by a strike as long as they are not “participating in the dispute, financing it or directly interested in it,” Michele Evermore, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, a progressive, independent think tank, said in a recent blog post on the think tank’s website. Evermore said in some states though, such as Michigan, workers who work for a firm where there is a labor dispute are not eligible for unemployment benefits if they lose work during the strike, even if they are not in the bargaining unit.

AUG 9, 2023

CNBC | These 2 states offer unemployment benefits to workers on strike

Worker activism rose during the coronavirus pandemic, and a tight labor market has given employees more power to negotiate. “These are public benefits that should be there for workers when their workplace is so unsatisfactory that they take the extraordinary step to go on strike,” said Michele Evermore, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. “They need support just like any other worker.”

AUG 6, 2023

CNBC | Termination risks, collecting unemployment: A look at workers rights amid a ‘summer of strikes’

There is no federal law guaranteeing workers on strike jobless benefits, said Michele Evermore, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. But two states — New York and New Jersey — provide some unemployment coverage to strikers. There is also a bill working its way through the Massachusetts Legislature that would offer unemployment benefits to those who have been on strike over a labor dispute for 30 days or more. “States have the right to decide that they do not want to see striking workers and their families go hungry while they are fighting for a fair work contract,” Evermore said.

JUL 11, 2023

Washington Post | Businesses are cutting workers’ hours in a warning sign for the economy

Economists warn against making too much of a single data point, but say the latest spike in involuntary part-time work could be a harbinger of layoffs to come, especially when combined with other signs of slowing in the job market. “Looking at this indicator — along with two straight months of decline in Black employment — gives me a bit of pause,” said Michele Evermore, senior fellow at the Century Foundation and former deputy director at the Labor Department. “I don’t mean to be Chicken Little here, but this does tend to be a leading indicator that things are starting to slow down.”

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About Michele

Michele Evermore is a senior fellow at think-tank, The Century Foundation (TCF), and one of the nation’s leading experts on unemployment insurance (UI) and social safety net programs. 

She joined TCF from the U.S. Department of Labor, having served as Deputy Director for Policy in the Office of Unemployment Insurance Modernization. Evermore was a central figure in the federal government’s historic expansion of unemployment aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, both from within the Biden administration and in her previous role at the National Employment Law Project, where she worked from 2018 to 2021. Her research, advocacy, and commentary were instrumental in pushing Congress to expand access to benefits and increase the duration and generosity of benefits during the pandemic—changes that kept some five million people out of poverty in 2020, studies suggest. 

Prior to NELP, Evermore promoted worker rights as a legislative advocate for labor unions, including the Service Employees International Union District 1199 and the National Nurses United, and worked for the Obama administration’s Department of Labor as a senior legislative officer. Prior to that, she worked in Congress for a decade, primarily for then-Senator Tom Harkin, as well as for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In those roles, she worked to advance worker protections, organizing rights, and improving retirement security in a variety of private pension plan designs, as well as Social Security.