Resource Library

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The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.

 

Older workers leave labor force in pandemic, but maybe not for good

December 21, 2021 – SeniorsCOVID-19, Workforce

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has published a new brief tracking changes in older adults’ labor force participation in the context of COVID-19. The authors report that the pandemic triggered labor force exits among older workers, with 15 percent of the pre-pandemic group exiting the workforce by the one-year mark. However, the brief also shows that there has been no increase in people specifically reporting being “retired” nor in Social Security benefit applications, suggesting that at least some of these workers may be planning an eventual workforce return.

Georgetown proposes holistic approach to youth policy in the transition to adulthood

December 7, 2021 – Older YouthEducation, Racial Equity, Workforce

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce has published a new report describing how pandemic-era demand for workers intersects with the longer-term trend of a “deteriorating” labor market for young adults. The authors identify the “dot-com” bubble recession of 2001, the Great Recession, and the COVID-19 recession as discrete events in shaping youth employment prospects. Further, they note that longer-term economic shifts mean employers favor workers with greater technical knowledge and more experience over young workers. The paper also notes the racial-ethnic disparities in the share of young adults who are disconnected from work and school, at 12 percent for white youths age 16-21 and 17 percent for Black youths. To address the longrunning challenge, the authors propose an “all-in-one” system that builds a pipeline from pre-kindergarten to employment without silos. The authors suggest multiple strategies for creating the pipeline, including recognizing the complementary nature of classroom learning, occupational exploration, and work-based learning from kindergarten to college; or offering field trips and career days to children, apprenticeships and cooperative extension opportunities to high schoolers, and paid internships and enhanced work-study opportunities to college students, all in service of building a modern network for young adult success.

New report describes business leaders’ perspectives on, and roles in, childcare

December 7, 2021 – Young Children, FamiliesChildcare, Workforce

A report from the Bipartisan Policy Center describes findings from a series of roundtable conversations on childcare with business leaders in 2019 and 2020. The report finds that many business leaders are aware of how childcare affects their employees, even if they’re unclear on their role in addressing the challenge. The authors find business size is correlated with capacity to support employee childcare needs, and while very small businesses are interested in supporting their workers, they don’t always have resources to do so. Most business leaders didn’t see onsite childcare provision as feasible, although offering tax incentives to businesses that provide family-friendly leave policies was favored by businesses large and small. The brief recommends business leaders collect information on their employees’ needs, quantify the business effects of inadequate childcare, consider family friendliness of company policy, and partner with local organizations to consider shared solutions.

College enrollment down in Maine, but especially in community colleges

November 7, 2021 – Older Youth, FamiliesCOVID-19, Education, Maine, Workforce

The Portland Press Herald reports substantial declines in Maine’s Community College System enrollment levels since pre-pandemic, with declines happening in both fall 2020 and 2021. Enrollment has also declined, albeit by less than half as much, in the University of Maine System. The article suggests that the greater declines among the community college system are attributable to the demographics of its student body, which tends to enroll more lower-income and non-traditional students who may have been harder hit by the workforce shifts and parenting strains than students in the University setting. In addition, the tight labor market is attracting current and potential students to choose work over enrollment. Within the college systems, administrators also note greater interest in in-person versus virtual, and short-term training or credentialing programs, preferences which may be indicative of trends that predated the pandemic.

Amid national improvement, October jobs report shows no recovery for women and workers of color

November 5, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Racial Equity, Workforce

Although the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report showed a small decline in employment nationwide (4.8 to 4.6 percent), these gains have notbeen uniformly realized. Adult men saw a decline in unemployment of 0.4 percentage points (to 4.3 percent), while adult women experienced a 0.2 percentage point increase (to 4.4 percent). Black unemployment rates remain more than three percentage points higher than the national rate, at 7.9 percent in October, with Hispanic rates also above national levels, at 5.9 percent.

Summary of early childhood educator convening focuses on racial, economic, and social justice

October 21, 2021 – Young Children, FamiliesChildcare, COVID-19, Racial Equity, Workforce

The Urban Institute recently published coverage of its January 2021 convening of early childhood education researchers, which focused on strengthening financial equity and workforce wellbeing among educators with a racial, economic, and social justice lens. The paper summarizes discussion and presentations from the event, concluding that the pandemic worsened conditions of pay and wellbeing for early educators in ways that reflect much longer-running conditions of structural racism. Focusing investment on home-based providers or infant/toddler educators—sectors in which women of color are disproportionately represented—could provide a pathway to addressing this gap.

Research links achievement of young adulthood milestones to economic stability, finds sequence matters less

September 30, 2021 – Older Youth, FamiliesEducation, Workforce

A new report from the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation examines the 20-year-old policy approach focused on the “success sequence,” or the idea that young adults who complete adulthood-transition milestones in a specific order are more likely to become economically successful. The report considered the completion, timing, and order of these milestones, including high school completion, full-time work, marriage, then childbearing. The authors find substantial variation in the transition-to-adulthood pathways by gender, race/ethnicity, and parental education, but also identify a link between these milestones and economic self sufficiency in adulthood. However, in contrast to the milestones’ typical framing as a “sequence,” the report finds that achievement of the milestones, rather than their timing, is the main driver of economic success in adulthood. The authors also find no link between the milestones and family stability in adulthood, suggesting that the framework may be of less utility in a family-policy setting than in an economic policy setting.

Median earnings and median household income decline overall from 2019 to 2020

September 14, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Workforce

New income statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) show the uneven impact of the pandemic. From 2019 to 2020 there was a 1.2 percent decrease in median earnings and a 2.9 percent decrease in median household income. However, among full-time, year-round workers, median earnings increased by 6.9 percent. This increase was not because of increasing wages, but instead primarily due to pandemic-related job losses being concentrated in low-wage industries and occupations. Full-time, year-round employment declined the most in food preparation and serving related occupations, which also had the lowest median wage at $13 per hour.

Not much interest in New Hampshire’s summer stipend program

September 13, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Workforce

In May 2021 New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu launched the ‘summer stipend’ program that aimed to incentivize workers to rejoin the workforce. If a worker left the unemployment rolls they could receive a bonus of $1,000 for a full-time job and $500 for a part-time job after working for at least eight weeks.The program was paid for with federal American Rescue Plan funds and administered by New Hampshire Employment Security, which reports that only 886 workers have taken advantage of the stipends so far (the program will continue through the end of 2021).

Findings from a partnership to support Detroit’s informal child care providers

August 10, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChildcare, Workforce

A new brief from Mathematica details findings from their recent partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and three community serving organizations in Detroit. As part of the Foundation’s work to increase access to ECE among Detroit families, this partnership offered child development knowledge and skills programming to 70 informal child care providers in Detroit (all women; 80 percent were Latinx or Hispanic), evaluating the successes and strengths of providers and of the collaborative learning model along the way. Mathematica found that the community-led and community-based forums translated to gains in providers’ child development knowledge and skills, and that the offerings both professionalized and facilitated connections among these providers who previously had not focused on their child development contributions to the community. The work concludes with recommendations for those seeking to partner with informal care providers under collaborative models in other settings. #childcare #workforce

Supporting the ECE workforce through COVID-19 relief mechanisms

August 3, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChildcare, COVID-19, Racial Equity, Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic’s dramatic impact on the Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce and subsequent funds made available through the American Rescue Plan Act have created an opportunity to build ECE workforce capacity and create evidence-based improvements to the system. The Urban Institute’s Young Scholars program identified several opportunities within the ECE system, including recognizing the critical supportive role of Head Start assistant teachers, who are more likely than lead teachers to speak their students’ languages; recognizing the stressors early educators face—particularly educators of color—and addressing those challenges with greater socioemotional and mental health supports; and providing pre-service kindergarten and first grade teachers with supports to address absenteeism among students. The piece highlights the specific funding streams that may be used to address these areas. #covid-19 #childcare #workforce #racialequity

Illinois announces $200 Million investment for early childhood workers

July 29, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChildcare, COVID-19, Racial Equity, Workforce

Illinois recently passed into law HB 2878, which uses $200 million in federal funds to provide training, mentorship programs, and scholarships for child care workers to pursue further education over the next two years. The bill also establishes a statewide early childhood education consortium to improve access and direct funding. #covid-19 #childcare #workforce #racialequity