Unemployment Insurance Program Specialist

US Department of Labor - Chicago, IL4.0

Full-time | Part-time
This position is with the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, Office of State Systems, Division of Workforce Investment, Unemployment Insurance & Reemployment Services Unit located in Chicago, IL.

Serves as the program specialist and principle point of contact for assigned programmatic and/or technical areas related to Unemployment Insurance and other employment and training legislation.

As such is primarily responsible for and involved in formulation and development of policy, procedures, region-wide direction, presentation of related training and technical assistance, evaluation of relevant programs, and legislative initiatives related to assigned areas. Serves as a technical resource person for Regional Office staff and State/local grantee staff who have responsibility for Unemployment Insurance and related programs. Maintains and develops workforce professional competencies for assigned areas and utilizes this expertise in accomplishing work as illustrated above. Analyzes information and program data utilizing computer software applications. Promotes effective working relationships with stakeholders, such as other Federal, State, and local partners, the business community, labor organizations, education, welfare, etc., in order to most effectively utilize employment and training resources.

Travel Required
Occasional travel - Travel by any means of government or public transportation may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
13 - This position is at the full performance level (FPL).

Job family (Series)
0106 Unemployment Insurance


Conditions of Employment
Subject to ocassional travel.
Requires a valid drivers license.
Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.
Must be at least 16 years old and a U.S. Citizen.
Applicants must meet all legal and regulatory requirements. Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.


Basic Requirements:
Undergraduate Education: Major study - economics, industrial relations, law, sociology, political science, public administration, or other related fields. Courses in statistics or mathematics applicable to the social sciences are creditable up to a maximum of 12 semester hours.

Graduate Education: Major study - one or a combination of the social sciences that included social science research methodology and techniques, and provided a knowledge of the history, concepts, methods, and techniques of social insurance and/or the social and economic conditions under which social insurance programs operate.



General Experience (for GS-5 positions): Experience in social science or related fields such as economics, sociology, political science, public administration, or industrial relations, or in the application of statistics or mathematics in these fields.

Specialized Experience (for positions above GS-5): Experience related to social insurance. This includes experience applying statistics or mathematics to the social insurance field. Specialized experience must have demonstrated:

  • A knowledge of current social and economic conditions under which social insurance programs operate, and the principles of Federal/State/local relationships;
  • The ability to extend and modify existing techniques and methods or to develop new ones to identify, isolate, and resolve special problems; and
  • The ability to develop effective collaborative relationships with personnel in other fields and with groups having conflicting objectives.
Qualifying specialized experience may have been gained through work in the following or similar types of programs: unemployment insurance; old-age and survivors' insurance; workers' compensation; disability compensation; or other public or private programs covering common social insurance risks.

In addition to the Basic Requirement:
GS-13: One (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to GS-12.

GS-13 : Specialized experience is defined as experience that demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of, and ability to interpret, Unemployment Insurance (UI) legislation and/or policies, programs, and regulations. Specialized experience includes providing authoritative advice on the UI program requirements to officials of Federal or State agencies; reviewing State legislation for conformity with Federal requirements; assessing UI program accuracy and quality; participating in special reviews and evaluations of UI benefit and tax systems and functions, and activities designed to enhance UI program integrity, performance, or quality to improve services to claimants and employers. Eligible candidate also has demonstrated experience in working collaboratively and maintaining cooperative relationships with officials in Federal, State, and local government agencies and public entities; communicating effectively in oral and written presentations to officials, staff, and the general public; and setting goals, managing projects, tracking progress and evaluating outcomes.

Any applicant falsely claiming an academic degree from an accredited school will be subject to actions ranging from disqualification from federal employment to removal from federal service.

If your education was completed at a foreign college or university, you must show comparability to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States and comparability to applicable minimum course work requirements for this position. Click Evaluation of Foreign Education for more information.

Additional information
Explanation of Evaluation Factors (Competencies)

All qualified applicants will be evaluated on the following key competencies:

Technical Competency – Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on-the-job experience to perform one’s job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues.

Writing - Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a brief, clear, and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.

Interpersonal Skills - Shows understanding, friendliness, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness to others.

Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial).

Leadership - Influences, motivates, and challenges others; adapts leadership styles to a variety of situations.

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees’ differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve. DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.


Delegated Examining Unit (DEU) Authorization No. DOL-1

How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be evaluated against the evaluation factors below and will be placed into a category based on your vacancy question responses.

Category A - Meets the basic qualification requirements for the vacancy and has successful experience in the same or similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in applying critical competencies required by this position to work of increased levels of difficulty and complexity.

Category B - Meets the basic qualification requirements for the vacancy and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in the critical competencies required by this position.

Category C - Meets the specialized experience described in the minimum qualifications requirements section of this announcement and demonstrates proficiency in the basic competencies.

Evaluation Factors (Competencies) - All qualified applicants will be evaluated on the following key competencies:

Please see the other information section for explanation of competencies.

The information you provide may be verified by a review of your work experience and/or education, by checking references and through other means (ex. interview). The examining Human Resources Office (HRO) makes the final determination concerning applicant ratings. Your resume MUST provide sufficient information to substantiate your responses to the vacancy questions. If not, the HRO may amend your responses to more accurately reflect the level of competency indicated by the content of your resume. Your evaluation may also include a review by a Human Resources Specialist or panel and may include other assessments (ex. interview, panel review, written test, writing sample, etc.)

INFORMATION FOR ICTAP/CTAP ELIGIBLES ONLY: If you are eligible for special priority selection under ICTAP/CTAP, you must be well-qualified for the position to receive consideration. ICTAP/CTAP eligibles who are placed into Category B or higher will be considered "well-qualified".

Click Application of Veterans Preference for Category Rating Jobs for more information.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

Required Documents
The following documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the vacancy closing date. You are not required to submit a document if it does not apply to you. Warning: If you submit a document using the same document title, the 2nd submission will OVERWRITE the 1st submission. Also, do not upload password protected documents.

  • Veterans Documents (if applicable): To be considered as a 5-point preference eligible, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD214. Your DD-214 must show the type of discharge and dates of active duty. To claim 10-point preference, you must submit a copy of your DD214; an Application for 10-point Veteran's Preference, SF15; and the proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally an official statement, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. (For active duty service members expecting honorable or general discharge or release within 120 days, click Active Duty ). Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference. For more information, go to: http://www.fedshirevets.gov/hire/hrp/vetguide/index.aspx
  • Displaced Employee Placement Documents – Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP or ICTAP eligibility.
  • Cover Letters are not mandatory and will not be used to verify experience, but may be submitted
Applicants selected for employment who are not current DOL employees will be required to provide proof of citizenship , and the E-Verify system will be used to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires.

– Unofficial Transcript(s) (in English) - submit if using education as a basis for qualifying for this position. If so, you must submit all applicable academic transcripts demonstrating that you meet the qualifying educational requirements (ex. BA/BS, MA, JD, PHD, etc). If specific course work is required to qualify, you must supply transcripts from each academic institution in which the required courses were taken in order to receive credit.

You may upload your transcript(s) as one document (3 MB size limit). If over 3 MB, please submit via fax feature.

OFFICIAL Transcripts MUST BE RECEIVED prior to selection and report date. Reference the “Education Section” for College Transcript and Evaluation of Foreign Education.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.


A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits .

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.