Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

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.


Maine Data Glimpse: Pandemic Unemployment

July 8, 2020 – Families

This report from the Carsey School of Public Policy provides updates on Maine’s unemployment situation through mid-June, drawing on new data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 19, 2020, showing how Maine has compared to the rest of New England and the nation. #covid-19 #workforce

23.5 million workers with young children do not have a possible caregiver at home

July 8, 2020 – Families

As reopening schools and child care programs this fall looks more challenging amid rising COVID-19 cases, a Brookings analyst estimated the impact this might have on working parents. Forty-one million workers have at least one child under age 18, comprising nearly one-third of the national workforce. Working parents with children under age 14 account for over one-quarter of the workforce, or 33.5 million workers. Of these working parents with young children, the majority—70 percent or 23.5 million workers—do not have any available caregivers at home. Likely the ability of these parents to continue working or return to work will depend on schools and child care programs reopening. #education #workforce #covid-19

How to establish an emergency cash assistance program—lessons from the field

July 7, 2020 – Families

New America partnered with the National Domestic Workers Alliance to summarize lessons learned in establishing an emergency cash assistance program during the pandemic. This program focuses on those often excluded from traditional safety nets, like gig workers and workers in families with mixed immigration statuses. The report provides guidance on how to establishing a cash assistance program and also describes the benefits and challenges of various approaches, with the goal of supporting state and local development of similar efforts. #workforce #covid-19

New Hampshire fund to support self-employed workers

July 6, 2020 – Families

The NH Business Review reports that the state is beginning to accept applications to the new self-employed assistance fund. The fund, called the New Hampshire Self Employed Livelihood Fund (SELF), is expected to provide onetime grants to self-employed business owners of up to $50,000 to cover pandemic-related losses. The program is funded by remaining funds in the state’s Main Street Relief Program. #workforce #covid-19

Self-employed workers hit hardest by pandemic-related downturns

June 30, 2020 – Families

Recent U.S. Census Bureau analysis combining their experimental Household and Small Business Pulse surveys finds that self-employed workers have faced the greatest economic hardships. Their analysis considered the hardest-hit states—where 25 percent or more of businesses closed temporarily—and found that in these most-affected states, 13.9 percent of self-employed workers had received food support like free meals or groceries in the last week. For workers who were not self-employed, 8.7 percent reported these resources. Additionally, single adults and younger adults who were self-employed in the hardest-hit states were more likely to report experiencing food insufficiency than their married and older counterparts. #workforce #foodsecurity #covid-19

Unemployment Insurance and Economic Impact Payments Associated with Reduced Hardship Following CARES Act

June 30, 2020 – Families

Urban Institute experts examined the economic impacts of recent CARES Act initiatives—such as expanded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and economic impact (“stimulus”) payments to most households—on U.S. adults. The authors found that UI recipients and those who received stimulus payments experienced less material hardship than nonrecipients. For example, from March/April to May 2020 food insecurity declined by three percentage points among adults who received UI, compared to a slight increase in food insecurity among those who had applied for UI but not yet received it. #workforce #foodsecurity #covid-19

More than 30 percent of youth ages 16 to 19 were unemployed in April 2020

June 29, 2020 – Older Youth, Families

Mathematica researchers examine unemployment rates across age groups and find that youth age 16 to 24 have the highest unemployment rates amid the pandemic. Even over the last 20 years before the pandemic, youth 16 to 24 have been two to three times more likely to experience unemployment than adults age 25 to 54. This trend continued as unemployment rates skyrocketed for all age groups once the pandemic hit. In April 2020, the unemployment rate for youth age 16 to 24 was 27.4 percent, and for those age 16 to 19, it was 31.9 percent. For that same month, the unemployment rate for adults age 25 to 54 was 12.8 percent. Unemployment rates dropped slightly for all age groups in May 2020, but one-quarter of youth age 16 to 24 were still unemployed. #workforce #covid-19

New England predicted to fare better economically than the U.S. overall in the second quarter of 2020

June 29, 2020 – Families

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released their labor market predictions for the second quarter of 2020 in New England. Their analysis uses pre-pandemic Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data to predict unemployment and layoffs. Although there is variation across New England states, the region is generally predicted to experience smaller adverse labor market effects than the U.S. overall. In a moderate-case scenario (that is, not best case but not worst case), the second quarter unemployment rate in New England is estimated at 18 percent versus the U.S. at 23 percent. In this same model, Maine is predicted to have the lowest unemployment rate among New England states at 16 percent. #covid-19 #workforce

Food insecurity rises among families with children, yet poverty rates decline at least initially

June 25, 2020 – Families

Two new papers presented at the Brooking Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) conference investigate economic conditions during the pandemic. One paper, examining safety net programs, finds that food insecurity among households with children rose from 9.3 percent in February to 29.5 percent in late April-early May. This comes even as more families are accessing SNAP, in which enrollment had increased by almost 20 percent through May. Authors recommend longerterm increases to SNAP benefits to account for the current recession and increasing food prices. The second paper focuses on income and poverty rates during the pandemic, finding that estimated poverty has declined during the pandemic and that incomes have risen at all income levels. The poverty rate—based on the authors’ calculations since official poverty estimates are not yet available— decreased from an average of 10.9 percent in January and February to an average of 8.6 percent in April and May. Authors attribute this to federal interventions like expanding unemployment insurance and caution that poverty rates will need continued monitoring. #foodsecurity #workforce #covid-19

To avoid a second wave of deaths, policy should focus on non-economic interventions rather than economic shutdown

June 25, 2020 – Families

Economic researchers at Brookings presented a paper that details policy recommendations for addressing a second wave of COVID-19 infections. The authors estimate the effects of economic shutdowns and non-economic interventions (e.g., limiting group gatherings, widespread mask use) on expected COVID-19 deaths. Results suggest that another full economic shutdown is not only costly for the economy in terms of rising unemployment, but also far less effective in mitigating deaths than non-economic interventions. The authors recommend “doubling down” on mitigation measures as an alternative to broad economic closures that could have long-term impacts. #covid-19 #workforce

Black essential workers need far more health and economic protections

June 24, 2020 – Families

Black workers are more likely to be frontline essential workers and more likely to be low-wage essential workers. For example, 35 percent of nursing assistants—an essential occupation with a mean hourly wage of just $14.22—are Black. Further, some of the most significant outbreaks have been in occupations with a high number of Black workers. The authors suggest that federal government has not sufficiently enforced safety standards and is not holding employers accountable. Beyond enforcing standards and ensuring adequate protective equipment, federal supports could include hazard pay for frontline workers, while large employers could extend temporary pay increases (some of which have expired already). #covid-19 #racialequity #workforce

Local nonprofit supports rural, Black Mississippians left out of federal initiatives

June 24, 2020 – Families

Many rural, Black small business owners in Mississippi were left out of federal programs responding to the pandemic, like the Payment Protection Program, due to a lack of resources needed to access the loans (e.g., accounting expertise). To address this gap, an economic justice nonprofit called Higher Purpose Co in Clarksdale, MS created a Black Business Relief Initiative and Fund, relying on their philanthropic partners for funding. Black Mississippi-based businesses that are self-employed or have no more than 20 employees could apply for a $2,500 award if the business does not have a physical location, or a $5,000 award if the business has a physical location. #workforce #rural #racialequity #covid-19