In many cities, low-income residents live far from available jobs, and employers can’t find people to fill open positions. Economists call this “spatial mismatch”—a mismatch between where jobs are located and where job seekers live, which can cause high unemployment rates and lead to longer spells of joblessness. Data from Snag, the largest online marketplace for hourly jobs, show us that this is true for job seekers who use their platform.
Description: The National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) is part of The Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism (ANF) multi-year research project. Its purpose is to track the effects of recent federal policy changes decentralizing many social programs from the federal government to the states, focusing primarily on health care, income security, job training, and social services.
Concern is growing among some analysts that recent economic growth in the US has not translated to economic well-being across the board. This study focuses on the share of Americans in financial distress in 2017, a year of relatively low unemployment. We find that a third of moderate-income adults experience financial insecurity in the past 12 months. In addition, one in eight of them say they must turn to high interest rate payday loans, auto title loans, or pawn shops to tide them over. (Author abstract)
Work-related requirements—such as employment, job search, job training, or community engagement activities—are currently a condition of eligibility for some safety net programs. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance and Medicaid each include work-related requirements in some states or localities for some beneficiaries. Recent proposals would expand or introduce new work requirements in these and other safety net programs, which offer vital supports for families to meet their basic needs.
In recent decades, policymakers have increasingly focused on the importance of high-quality child care and early education services in supporting the development of low-income children. Though highquality early care and education (ECE) can exist in any setting—including child care centers, family child care programs, and other home-based care arrangements—the emphasis on high-quality ECE services has often translated into a singular focus on investing public funds in formal settings, especially centerbased programs.
Free and reduced-price lunch status has long been used as a proxy measure for student poverty. This brief offers a short history of school lunch and its recent decline as a measure of economic disadvantage. It then provides a primer on “direct certification,” the most promising alternative, which links student enrollment with public benefits data to directly assess students’ household income. Under direct certification, eligibility rules, application, and eligibility determination procedures of public benefits programs take on new importance in affecting counts of low-income students.
More than 2.7 million children have an incarcerated parent, and many more have experienced a parent’s incarceration at some point. Research finds that parental incarceration negatively affects children’s physical, mental, and emotional health. One might presume that child outcomes improve when a parent returns from incarceration, but the evidence shows that reentry can be difficult for parents and their children.
Using data from the December 2017 round of the Urban Institute’s Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey, this brief assesses the prevalence of material hardship among parents living with children under age 19, how this varies by family income and ages of children, and the characteristics of low-income parents who report hardships. We then identify factors associated with an increased or reduced risk of material hardship among parents with low incomes, defined as family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
The complex and interrelated challenges that place-based initiatives such as Promise Neighborhoods address require that many stakeholders be involved, informed, and inspired to act. Stakeholders must understand and buy into the initiative’s priority challenges, responsive strategies, and overall goals. This engagement is vital to effective implementation, including evaluating what works, deciding what to sustain, and investing in the most potent strategies. Effective messaging is necessary for creating a common understanding and mobilizing necessary action from the community.
A few years ago, Denver’s Crime Prevention and Control Commission (CPCC) recognized that there was a population of “frequent users” - individuals who cycle in and out of jail – who they believed were chronically homeless and suffered from mental health and substance abuse problems. The CPCC did a data match pulling homeless system data, healthcare utilization data, and criminal justice data together for 250 frequent users to see how these individuals touched other systems.