The recession associated with the COVID-19 pandemic announced itself in spring 2020 with head-spinning job losses: 22 million lost jobs within two months, a shock that is hard to overstate.
In an earlier brief, we estimated that the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March 2021, would reduce the 2021 annual poverty rate to 8.7 percent (Wheaton et al. 2021). We now project a 2021 poverty rate of 7.7 percent for 2021. The revised projection accounts for improvements in the economy, incorporates updated state-level information on pandemic-related policies, and improves the method for weighting the data to reflect 2021.
As of July 2021, 12 states have not expanded Medicaid as permitted by the Affordable Care Act, contributing to 5.8 million people with incomes below the federal poverty level being without coverage. One approach to help cover people in this “Medicaid gap” would be to have the federal government make Marketplace coverage available to those between current Medicaid eligibility levels and the federal poverty level. An alternative would be to employ a public option plan in the Marketplace to for the same population.
What if everyone had the same prospects for living a long and healthy life, no matter who they are or where they call home? In this future, all people live in safe and healthy environments; enjoy reliable access to health care, nutritious food, and stable housing; and have the knowledge and opportunities to make healthy choices about diet and exercise. And none of us has to contend with the harms of persistent racial discrimination, violence, trauma, and injustice.
We study the sources of racial and ethnic disparities in income using de-identified longitudinal data covering nearly the entire U.S. population from 1989-2015. We document three sets of results.
The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report shows that the economy gained 850,000 jobs in June 2021, marking an increase in job growth after 583,000 jobs were gained in May 2021. Women accounted for 47.6% of job gains last month, gaining 405,000 jobs while men gained 445,000. Nevertheless, women would need more than 9 straight months of job gains at last month’s level to recover the nearly 3.8 million net jobs they have lost since February 2020. (author abstract)
Accelerating Equity and Justice focuses on the promise of guaranteed basic income and generational wealth accumulation to alleviate poverty, shift narratives that question the deservedness of social assistance and lessen racial wealth inequality. The report highlights the urgent need for bold, disruptive, and transformational policy with equity, well-being, and racial justice at the center.
The report examines who is likeliest to benefit from the $25 billion annual tax expenditure on the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and finds that most benefits flow to higher-income, disproportionately white homeowners. The authors outline how resources dedicated to the MID could instead be used to support low-income renters and homeowners, through expanding rental assistance, investing in affordable rental housing production, supporting small-dollar mortgage lending, and creating stabilization programs to keep low-income families stably housed. (author abstract)
A severe global recession has brought heightened attention to poverty in the United States as the poverty rate rose over time, leveling off at 15.0% in 2011. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data demonstrates the persistence of higher poverty rates for African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, children, single mothers, people with disabilities, and other groups, for example. An earlier Williams Institute study and other research showed that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people were also more vulnerable to being poor, and this study updates and extends that earlier report.
In recent decades, there has been remarkable growth in scientific research examining the multiple ways in which racism can adversely affect health. This interest has been driven in part by the striking persistence of racial/ethnic inequities in health and the empirical evidence that indicates that socioeconomic factors alone do not account for racial/ethnic inequities in health. Racism is considered a fundamental cause of adverse health outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities and racial/ethnic inequities in health.