This brief summarizes results from a 2019 needs assessment of the capacity of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs in 54 U.S. states and territories to analyze data used for the purposes of program improvement, monitoring, and evidence-building. It highlights areas of strength and success in how these agencies use data, as well as areas for growth. It also includes suggested strategies that may improve data use by TANF agencies.
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.
This COVID-19 recession/recovery is akin to a schoolyard game of kickball. As the economy tries to rebound, companies are adding workers to their team, yet a group is being picked last—Black workers.
This isn't the first time, either. When the Great Recession began, Black workers' unemployment rate increased to double digits and remained that high for more than six years. In comparison, the unemployment rate among white workers never reached double digits during the Great Recession or its recovery.
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)
The Families Forward Demonstration (FFD) examined new strategies to increase the earnings of parents who owe child support but are unable to fully meet their obligations due to low earnings. Operated by child support agencies in five jurisdictions across the country from 2018 to 2020, FFD sought to integrate employment and training services into existing public child support programs. The FFD program included free occupational skill-building activities, to help parents qualify for higher-paying jobs, as well as employment services and wraparound supports.
Among the many pressing issues for the Biden administration to tackle are the challenges of instituting national housing policies that address housing stability and affordability and that ensure affordable housing is built and preserved in neighborhoods of opportunity. These challenges are not new, and some issues, particularly for renters and communities of color, have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the world struggles with the rapidly evolving pandemic of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), evidence and experience suggest that low-income and marginalized communities in our global society will bear the biggest impact. Weknow this because, with our colleagues in Boston, Haiti, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we have worked in under-resourced, overstretched, and overwhelmed health systems for our whole careers.
As it confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, the US faces what could be its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. A successful government response to the economic consequences of the pandemic is critical for sustaining families’ health and well-being and allowing families to remain housed as major sectors of the economy remain closed. The success of this response will partly depend on its effectiveness in reaching the families hardest hit by the loss of jobs and incomes.
- The current brief explores the effects of a model two-generation human capital intervention CareerAdvance®, on parent outcomes.
- CareerAdvance®, developed and run by the Community Action Project of Tulsa Count (CAP Tulsa), is a healthcare training program designed for parents of children enrolled in CAP’s Head Start programs.