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 www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 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.

 

Home health care workers need additional support to meet growing challenges

May 18, 2020 – Seniors

The home care services sector has received less attention than nursing homes, although it too faces the challenges of necessary social distancing. This critical sector will need assistance to meet current needs and the projected increase in pandemic-related demand. To support home health care workers, experts at The Conversation recommend ensuring paid sick leave, access to personal protective equipment (PPE), increased use of telehealth, including virtual training, and fair compensation for complex care. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could expand the definitions of “home health” and “homebound” so that Medicare would cover more home care services. #covid-19 #workforce

Expanding the Child Tax Credit could lift 3 million people out of poverty

May 13, 2020 – Families

Researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities identify expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as a potential economic stimulus. Currently, many low-income families do not earn the full $2,000 CTC per child because their incomes are too low. The authors estimate that temporarily making this tax credit fully available would lift 3 million people above the poverty line. This poverty-alleviating measure would also be an effective economic stimulus as low-income families tend to spend this money quickly. Another strategy, rather than full expansion, would be to allow 2020 tax filers to use either their 2019 or 2020 income to calculate their CTC and EITC, as many will have drastically reduced earnings in 2020 due to pandemic-related job losses. #covid-19 #workforce

States bolster Medicaid as part of their pandemic response

May 13, 2020 – Families

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities summarizes state efforts to leverage Medicaid in response to the pandemic. Implementing policies that ease access, support social distancing, and strengthen the workforce are especially prevalent, enacted through amendments and special emergency waivers. Maine and other New England states have implemented many of these responses (particularly when compared to states across the South); enactment of specific policies by state are available through CBPP’s maps and tables. #covid-19 #workforce

Many of the most economically vulnerable were hit hardest by job losses in April

May 12, 2020 – Families

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also analyzed the recently released national labor force statistics for April 2020. Across demographic groups, they found larger declines in employment for Black or African American (down 18 percent), Hispanic/Latino (down 21 percent), and foreign-born workers (down 21 percent) as compared to white workers (down 16 percent). Low-wage jobs were also disproportionately lost, finding that over half of the 20 million jobs lost were from the lowest-paying industries. In summary, those who already face barriers to economic opportunity were also the hardest hit by these job losses. #covid-19 #workforce

April 2020 saw largest job losses ever recorded in the United States

May 8, 2020 – Families

On May 8, the monthly national employment and labor force statistics for April 2020 were released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The staggering estimated jobs lost in April—20.5 million—and the new unemployment rate— jumping to 14.7 percent—have been widely reported. As experts at the Urban Institute highlight, these dismal figures represent the largest job loss recorded in the United States. As these experts also detail, certain populations were hit harder by the pandemic-related shutdowns. The unemployment rate for high school graduates with no college education rose to 17.3 percent, while that of college graduates rose only to 8.4 percent. Also of note, unemployment among teenagers nearly reached 32 percent. #covid-19 #workforce

Where Low-Income Jobs Are Being Lost to COVID-19

May 8, 2020 – General

An interactive tool from the Urban Institute allows viewers to explore estimates of low-income jobs lost by county and metro area due to the COVID-19 crisis. The tool shows the total estimated number of low-income jobs lost in the geography of interest, as well as a breakdown by industry. In the United States, an estimated 16,598,538 low-income jobs have been lost as of the publication of this Research Memo. The industries that have been hit the worst nationally are Accommodation and Food Services, Retail Trade, and Health Care and Social Assistance. #covid-19 #workforce

Supporting young workers is crucial to economic recovery

May 7, 2020 – Older Youth

A new report from Brookings experts covers the importance of supporting young workers—millions of whom were already among the most economically vulnerable before the pandemic. Many do not have a college degree and work in the industries hit hardest by coronavirus shutdowns. Less experience and lower levels of education likely mean these young workers will have difficulty finding new employment if they lose their job. Expanding service programs aimed at young adults—such as YouthBuild, AmeriCorps, and other models—could be influential in providing new opportunities. Additionally, federal initiatives could hire workers to provide services related to the pandemic relief effort. #covid-19 #workforce See related bill in the Senate put forth by Chris Coons (D-DE) proposing to increase AmeriCorps enrollment and stipends: https://www.coons.senate.gov/news/pressreleases/sen-coons-colleagues-introduce-legislation-to-significantly-expand-nationalservice-programs-to-respond-to-covid-19

Guide for child care professionals navigating new unemployment programs

May 6, 2020 – Families

The Center for Law and Social Policy has created a guide for child care stakeholders navigating unemployment compensation during the pandemic. The guide explains new pandemic unemployment insurance (UI) programs that provide compensation for many child care workers who previously did not qualify for benefits, such as those who are self-employed or work part-time. The document also covers the limitations and challenges of accessing unemployment programs. Recommendations for federal and state policy actions are also included, such as expanding UI eligibility, increasing maximum duration and amount of benefits, and clarifying the process for home-based providers. #covid-19 #workforce #childcare

Higher shares of job or income losses for low-income, Hispanic adults

April 28, 2020 – Families

The Urban Institute reports the results of their nationally representative survey of adults ages 18-64 conducted between March 25 and April 10, 2020. They found that 41.5 percent of nonelderly adults were in families where someone had lost a job, work hours, or work-related income due to the coronavirus pandemic. When these data were stratified by family income and race/ethnicity, authors found that shares of adults 18-64 whose families suffered job or income losses were especially high for those who are low-income (at 51.1 percent) and for those identifying as Hispanic (at 56.9 percent). Additionally, one-third of adults 18-64 reported that they experienced serious material hardships such as not being able to pay rent, mortgage, or utility bills; food insecurity; or forgoing medical care due to cost in the last 30 days. #covid-19 #workforce #foodsecurity

Universal basic income as a potential policy response to the pandemic

April 28, 2020 – Families

The Basic Income Lab at Stanford University makes the case that a universal basic income (UBI) program is a smart policy response to the pandemic. Specifically, because precise targeting of assistance is difficult (risking omitting those who really need help), because pandemic financial shocks can come on very suddenly (means-tested programs are slow), and because financial assistance should allow for proactive exit of the workplace (whereas unemployment insurance is reactive), authors argue that UBI is an attractive option. See also: https://jacobinmag.com/2020/03/universal-basic-income-ubicoronavirus-covid-19-crisis #covid-19 #workforce

Twice as nice: Fundraisers help restaurants, feed health-care workers

April 26, 2020 – General

Several efforts in New England and around the nation are aiming to support both local restaurants and health care workers by using donations to purchase restaurant food for delivery to health care workers. #covid-19 #workforce

The $600 Unemployment Booster Shot, State by State

April 23, 2020 – General

A New York Times analysis looks at the differentiated impacts of the federal $600/week increase to unemployment benefits across the 50 states. Specifically, they rank states based on their ‘replacement rate’—the share of a worker’s average weekly wages that average weekly unemployment benefits replace. Interestingly, Maine and New Hampshire were on the opposite ends of the spectrum. In Maine, workers will receive an average of over 120% of their normal wages in unemployment benefits (the highest replacement rate). In contrast, New Hampshire workers had the lowest replacement rate at a bit over 80% of their average normal wages. #covid-19 #workforce