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.


How much is COVID-19 hurting state and local revenues?

September 24, 2020 – General

Brookings examines the fiscal impact that COVID-19 has had on state and local governments. We project that state and local government revenues will decline $155 billion in 2020, $167 billion in 2021, and $145 billion in 2022—about 5.5 percent, 5.7 percent, and 4.7 percent, respectively—excluding the declines in fees to hospitals and higher education. Including those fees to hospitals and higher education would bring these totals to $188 billion, $189 billion, and $167 billion. #covid-19 #workforce

New Data: Millions Struggling to Eat and Pay Rent

September 23, 2020 – General

Millions of households are having serious trouble affording food and are falling behind on the rent, the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey for September 2-14 shows. Twenty-three million adults reported that their household didn’t get enough to eat, and an estimated 1 in 4 renters with children lived in a household that was behind on rent. Also, data for August show that some 35 million people — including 9 million children — either met the federal definition of “unemployed” (which understates the actual number of jobless workers) or lived with an unemployed family member, according to Census’ latest Current Population Survey. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #workforce

Tracking the COVID-19 Recession’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships

September 18, 2020 – General

The unemployment rate is very high and millions report that their households did not get enough to eat or that they are behind in paying the rent. CBPP is able to track the extent of this hardship thanks to nearly real-time data from several sources on the unfolding economic crisis. The impacts of the pandemic and the economic fallout have been widespread, but are particularly prevalent among Black, Latino,[1] Indigenous, and immigrant households. These disproportionate impacts reflect harsh, longstanding inequities — often stemming from structural racism — in education, employment, housing, and health care that the current crisis is exacerbating. Relief measures have mitigated hardship, but there are significant gaps and the measures are also temporary. The data, which we will update periodically, drive home the need for substantial, continued relief measures. #foodsecurity #education #racialequity #workforce

In many communities, COVID-19 will permanently kill jobs. Here’s how they can respond.

September 17, 2020 – General

When a durable recovery strategy from the COVID-19 pandemic finally emerges, it will confront not just one badly damaged economy, but numerous fractured economies. The pandemic recession is hitting some sectors harder than others, with regions dependent on manufacturing and hospitality particularly devastated. Even state and local government jobs have taken a hit, which will likely get worse in the coming months. And within these hard-hit industries, the young, the less educated, and workers of color have borne the worst of the job losses. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

Young workers face high unemployment during the pandemic

September 10, 2020 – Older Youth

Brookings authors explore unemployment among young workers during the COVID-19-related recession. Authors find that while young workers are always disproportionately affected in recessions, the present recession is hitting them harder than usual. Young workers were more likely to be laid off and were more likely to be working in service industries that faced pandemic-induced shut downs. While overall unemployment rates increased by 11.2 percentage points from February to April 2020, unemployment rates for young workers ages 16- 19 increased by 20.9 percentage points over this same period. Black and Hispanic young workers and young workers with less education (in particular, those with a high school degree or less) had even higher unemployment rates. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

Immigrant-owned food startups get creative to stay afloat during the pandemic

September 8, 2020 – Families

A new article from nonprofit news organization Civil Eats explores the effects of the pandemic on immigrant-led food startups, many of whom are small businesses selling culinarily diverse frozen or prepared foods, building meal kits, or catering. During the pandemic, sell foods to school districts for school meals programs or to food relief programs has been a viable option for some food start ups. For example, after campus closures interrupted a deal between start up Meal Mantra and Boston College to provide curries for their cafeteria menu, the startup was able to sell some of their already-produced curries at cost to the city of Boston’s food relief program. Other entrepreneurs echoed the sentiment to figure out where the sales are and focus on staying afloat during these challenging times. #covid-19 #workforce

New Hampshire farmers markets plan how to continue business through the winter

September 7, 2020 – Families

As colder weather approaches, farmers market organizers consider how to continue operating warmly and safely. The New Hampshire Business Review reports that many of the small venders rely heavily on the markets and might not be able to stay in business through the winter without them. Outdoor farmers markets have been relatively easy to adapt to COVID-19 regulations, but the indoor winter markets will need to reduce capacity and vendors to allow space for social distancing. Further, some of the usual locations for winter markets, such as schools, are not currently allowing non-essential guests. Some market operators, such as New Hampshire’s Seacoast Eat Local, will host indoor winter farmers markets at its regular venues but will limit capacity to 50 percent. Another proposed alternative is to expand existing mobile markets during the winter. #covid-19 #workforce #foodsecurity

Persistent labor market challenges spell trouble for disadvantaged households

September 4, 2020 – Families

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities finds that despite positive job growth in the past several months, the “jobs hole” from March and April has not been repaired. State and local government job losses (including in education) account for about 10% of these losses, while broader losses are clustered among workers in low-wage industries and without a bachelor’s degree. The pandemic has also exacerbated racial-ethnic gaps in unemployment by hitting hardest the industries in which workers of color are clustered. The report concludes by urging the federal government to further supplement unemployment compensation for workers facing serious and enduring hardship. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

Federal Reserve of Boston finds unemployment worse than in Great Recession

September 3, 2020 – Families

New research from the Federal Reserve Bank compares pandemic-era initial and continued unemployment claims for the U.S. and New England with those from the Great Recession. The authors find that the level of initial claims in the pandemic had exceeded those in the entire 79-week-long Great Recession in just 12 weeks (that is, by May 30) nationally, and in just 10 weeks in New England. Levels of continuing unemployment insurance claims are three to four times larger than in the Great Recession in New England. The research also found that women, younger workers, and those in personal care or food service occupations were more likely to file ongoing claims. #covid-19 #workforce

New York City initiates project labor agreements that require hiring low-income New Yorkers

August 13, 2020 – Families

As part of an “economic justice” initiative, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio created a new Community Hiring plan, which includes new agreements with the city’s building and construction unions to expand access to apprenticeship programs; prioritize hiring workers who are public housing residents or who live in high-poverty zip codes; and supply new opportunities and flexibilities for minority- and women-owned businesses. This effort aims to address the disproportionate effects that the pandemic has had on low income workers of color and may provide a model for other cities. #covid-19 #workforce

77% of low- to moderate-income U.S. households experience asset poverty

August 4, 2020 – Families

New research out of Oregon State University published in the journal Social Policy Administration finds that more than three quarters of low- to moderate income U.S. households are below the asset poverty threshold, wherein the household does not have enough financial assets to withstand three months without income. This is particularly relevant as the pandemic has left many unemployed and many federal CARES Act programs have expired, such as the increased unemployment insurance benefits, The authors also compare asset poverty rates in the United States and in Canada, finding that the situation in Canada is only slightly better, with still 62% of low- to moderate-income households below the asset poverty threshold. #covid-19 #workforce

Is the unemployment boost a disincentive to work? Research suggests more complex answer

August 4, 2020 – Families

A new post for The Conversation features analysis from a University of Maryland economist, who examined the notion that the $600 supplemental unemployment benefit disincentivizes employment by exceeding usual wages for some workers. The analysis revealed that on average, unemployed workers were bringing in 127% of their usual wages with this supplement. However, the author points to loss of non-cash benefits (like health insurance) as also important for understanding incentives, and cites research from Yale, which found no evidence of a disincentivizing effect (in part, because unemployment is only available to those who have not received a viable employment offer). Finally, while wage replacement is an important goal of unemployment insurance, the other key goal is to stimulate the economy through consumer spending during economic downturns, which the author argues, is especially important now. Overall, the author argues that a federal supplement to unemployment insurance is a useful policy to support households and the economy during the pandemic. #covid-19 #workforce