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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Gould-Werth, Alix
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Though the Great Recession came to a close in June 2009, workers are still feeling its effects due to continued high rates of underemployment and long-term unemployment. The long-term unemployed are more marginally attached to the labor force than their short-term unemployed peers, yet less is known about how people sort into long-term unemployment or cope with this status, nor why African Americans are disproportionately represented in this group. Using data from qualitative interviews with a diverse group of individuals who experienced job loss between 2007 and 2011, this study identifies the important role private safety nets play in ameliorating the scarring effects of unemployment in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Private resources, which are unequally distributed along racial lines, connect job losers to satisfactory jobs, provide high quality re-training opportunities, and facilitate more comfortable labor force exits. Private resources also augment the living conditions of individuals who find themselves longterm unemployed or underemployed, buffering them from the...

    Though the Great Recession came to a close in June 2009, workers are still feeling its effects due to continued high rates of underemployment and long-term unemployment. The long-term unemployed are more marginally attached to the labor force than their short-term unemployed peers, yet less is known about how people sort into long-term unemployment or cope with this status, nor why African Americans are disproportionately represented in this group. Using data from qualitative interviews with a diverse group of individuals who experienced job loss between 2007 and 2011, this study identifies the important role private safety nets play in ameliorating the scarring effects of unemployment in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Private resources, which are unequally distributed along racial lines, connect job losers to satisfactory jobs, provide high quality re-training opportunities, and facilitate more comfortable labor force exits. Private resources also augment the living conditions of individuals who find themselves longterm unemployed or underemployed, buffering them from the potential negative consequences of the decline in the quality of their employment situation. Because these resources are unequally distributed along racial lines, African Americans who lose their jobs experience worse labor market outcomes and greater decreases in their wellbeing than their White counterparts. These results suggest that job loss is a turning point in the life course—like incarceration, eviction, or high school completion—in which racial inequality is magnified and reproduced. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kalousova, Lucie; Danziger, Sheldon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This chapter uses longitudinal data from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study to investigate how Detroit-area residents fared in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We focus on the disparities between blacks and non-blacks in three domains of economic well-being: employment, housing, and financial security. For both blacks and non-blacks, we observe that the likelihood of housing and financial insecurity, poverty, and zero or negative net-worth was largely unchanged between the baseline (2009/10) and follow-up (2011) data collections. However, blacks were significantly more likely to experience every one of the examined hardships at both points, even after taking into account educational, gender, and age differentials between the two populations. We discuss the implications of these findings for public policies aimed at reducing racial disparities and poverty. (author abstract)

    This chapter uses longitudinal data from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study to investigate how Detroit-area residents fared in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We focus on the disparities between blacks and non-blacks in three domains of economic well-being: employment, housing, and financial security. For both blacks and non-blacks, we observe that the likelihood of housing and financial insecurity, poverty, and zero or negative net-worth was largely unchanged between the baseline (2009/10) and follow-up (2011) data collections. However, blacks were significantly more likely to experience every one of the examined hardships at both points, even after taking into account educational, gender, and age differentials between the two populations. We discuss the implications of these findings for public policies aimed at reducing racial disparities and poverty. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Burgard, Sarah A.; Kalousova, Lucie; Danziger, Sheldon; Seefeldt, Kristin S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    The “Great Recession” that lasted from December 2007 through June 2009 was the most severe recession in recent decades. It lasted longer and resulted in more job losses than previous downturns, and an unusually large number of workers experienced long-term unemployment during this recession and the current slow recovery. Analyzing data from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which tracked households from mid-2008 through early 2011, Johnson and Feng (2013) found that most of the substantial increase in the unemployment rate was driven by a surge in multiple and extended jobless spells (lasting 6 months or more), rather than an increase in the likelihood of becoming unemployed at all. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 41 percent of the unemployed in 2012 had been without work for 27 weeks or more compared to only 17.6 percent prior to the recession.

    Long-term unemployment is associated with serious hardships. For example, levels of food insecurity increase as the unemployment rate rises (Nord and Carlson, 2009) as do levels of financial...

    The “Great Recession” that lasted from December 2007 through June 2009 was the most severe recession in recent decades. It lasted longer and resulted in more job losses than previous downturns, and an unusually large number of workers experienced long-term unemployment during this recession and the current slow recovery. Analyzing data from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which tracked households from mid-2008 through early 2011, Johnson and Feng (2013) found that most of the substantial increase in the unemployment rate was driven by a surge in multiple and extended jobless spells (lasting 6 months or more), rather than an increase in the likelihood of becoming unemployed at all. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 41 percent of the unemployed in 2012 had been without work for 27 weeks or more compared to only 17.6 percent prior to the recession.

    Long-term unemployment is associated with serious hardships. For example, levels of food insecurity increase as the unemployment rate rises (Nord and Carlson, 2009) as do levels of financial problems (Lovell and Oh, 2006). While we know about these broad associations between unemployment rates and rates of hardship across the population, prior studies typically have focused on one or just a few hardships. In this brief, we examine levels and correlates of long- term unemployment among working age adults in the Michigan and Recession and Recovery Study (MRRS). We also explore whether long-term unemployment was associated with higher levels of material hardship in four key domains: financial problems, housing instability, food insecurity, and foregone medical care. We examine these domains one at a time, and then consider the total burden of hardship across the four domains. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Seefeldt, Kristin; Horowski, Meredith
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Interest in the “disconnected,” that is, low-income families who appear to have no earnings and receive no welfare or other cash assistance, has been growing in recent years. Most research has focused on a narrowly defining and then counting and describing this group. Yet, such a limited definition does not: 1) capture families who are inadequately connected to work or other sources of support; 2) provide insight about the circumstances leading to disconnection; 3) nor uncover the challenges families face in becoming and staying connected to sources of support, particularly during the economic downturn. In this paper we propose a new lens through which to examine “disconnectedness” that is a multi-dimensional continuum of connection to cash resources and other supports. We apply this continuum to qualitative data to illustrate the circumstances that lead to a spell of disconnection and the challenges in connecting to public programs. (author abstract)

    Interest in the “disconnected,” that is, low-income families who appear to have no earnings and receive no welfare or other cash assistance, has been growing in recent years. Most research has focused on a narrowly defining and then counting and describing this group. Yet, such a limited definition does not: 1) capture families who are inadequately connected to work or other sources of support; 2) provide insight about the circumstances leading to disconnection; 3) nor uncover the challenges families face in becoming and staying connected to sources of support, particularly during the economic downturn. In this paper we propose a new lens through which to examine “disconnectedness” that is a multi-dimensional continuum of connection to cash resources and other supports. We apply this continuum to qualitative data to illustrate the circumstances that lead to a spell of disconnection and the challenges in connecting to public programs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gould-Werth, Alix; Burgard, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    From December 2007 through June 2009, the United States experienced its most severe recession since the Great Depression. Though the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared the end of the recession in June of 2009, high rates of unemployment have persisted into 2012. Michigan is among the states hit hardest by the recession, especially the Detroit Metropolitan area, which has long been the center of the automobile industry.

    The Great Recession and its aftermath have impacted the employment and incomes of a wide swath of residents. Black and non-black, male and female, blue-collar and white-collar Michiganders experienced layoffs, furloughs, wage cuts and other employment and economic shocks. As is the case nationally, employment problems were concentrated among workers who are less-educated, blue-collar and African American.

    This report examines the employment problems of three groups at the time of the first survey: those who were employed, those who were unemployed; and those who were not in the labor force. (author abstract)

    From December 2007 through June 2009, the United States experienced its most severe recession since the Great Depression. Though the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared the end of the recession in June of 2009, high rates of unemployment have persisted into 2012. Michigan is among the states hit hardest by the recession, especially the Detroit Metropolitan area, which has long been the center of the automobile industry.

    The Great Recession and its aftermath have impacted the employment and incomes of a wide swath of residents. Black and non-black, male and female, blue-collar and white-collar Michiganders experienced layoffs, furloughs, wage cuts and other employment and economic shocks. As is the case nationally, employment problems were concentrated among workers who are less-educated, blue-collar and African American.

    This report examines the employment problems of three groups at the time of the first survey: those who were employed, those who were unemployed; and those who were not in the labor force. (author abstract)

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