The national unemployment insurance program was developed in 1935 in response to the Great Depression and is designed to pay benefits to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Because unemployment insurance benefits allow unemployed individuals and their families to continue paying bills, it helps maintain the incomes and spending power of stores, landlords, banks and community service providers. Unemployment insurance softens the blow and reduces the snowball effect that job losses can have on the economy. Unemployment insurance promotes stability by making it possible for employers to retain workers during the off-season or during a short downturn. The Idaho Department of Labor gathers unemployment insurance data to study, analyze, model and forecast the economic impact of unemployment on the state's economy.