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.


Economic Policy Institute report details disparities for Black workers and families

June 1, 2020 – Families

A comprehensive new piece from the Economic Policy Institute examines the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on Black workers and families using a variety of economic measures. While unemployment has increased for all workers, the rate in April 2020 was higher for black workers (at 16.7 percent) than white workers (at 14.2 percent). Black women have faced the largest employment-to-population ratio losses during the pandemic. The authors also use health, housing, and other data to illustrate long-standing racial disparities that made African Americans more vulnerable to a public health crisis even before the pandemic began, including residence in densely-populated housing and higher rates of chronic illnesses. #covid-19 #racialequity #workforce

Allowing partial Social Security benefits would support older adults during recession

May 29, 2020 – Seniors

Researchers at the Urban Institute find that older adult workers have the hardest time finding a new job in tough labor markets. Given early impacts of the COVID-19 recession, researchers suggest that allowing more flexibility for those aged 62 or older to opt in and out of Social Security, or to take only half of their Social Security benefit in a given year, would allow seniors to adjust reliance on Social Security based on their needs. Much of the infrastructure for implementing a reform like this is already in place, although not often utilized; simplifying and expanding on this existing option would facilitate the roll-out of such a program. #covid-19 #workforce

Updates on the economic situation in New England amid the pandemic

May 28, 2020 – Families

A recent presentation from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s New England Public Policy Center summarizes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on New England’s economic situation. As well as tracking number of COVID-19 cases, the slides present statistics on initial unemployment insurance claims, layoff notices, households at risk of missing rent or mortgage payments, and state revenue impacts. #covid-19 #workforce

Policy strategies to support financially struggling Gen Z young adults

May 22, 2020 – Older Youth

In their March and April 2020 Health Reform Monitoring Survey, the Urban Institute found that 57.4 percent of Gen Z adults (18-22 years old) reported jobrelated losses in their families—the highest reported share of any working-age generation. Urban Institute experts outline some policies to support the financial stability of Gen Z including expanding eligibility for pandemic relief payments to dependent adults and continued relief for utility bills. These young adults, often with little or no credit history, could also be supported by financial institutions offering affordable short-term credit. Another potential support would be increasing cost-effective health care options for young adults, such as through Marketplace subsidies or the Medicaid matching rate. #covid-19 #workforce

New Census Bureau survey tracks household food insecurity, income losses

May 20, 2020 – Families

The U.S. Census Bureau has developed a weekly Household Pulse Survey to provide timely statistics on families during the pandemic. Results were recently released for the first period (April 23-May 5), although the response rate was not ideal. They found that 47 percent of adults reported that an adult in their household had lost employment income since March 13. Regarding food insecurity, they found that 10 percent of adults reported not getting enough food some of the time or often, while another 32 percent got enough food but not the kinds of food needed. Other findings pertaining to mental well-being, housing, health care, and remote learning are included. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #mentalhealth #workforce

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

Unemployment insurance has not fully replaced crashing incomes

May 13, 2020 – Families

Brookings experts reviewed how the expansion of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits has helped offset the decline of incomes during the pandemic. Although expanded UI payments have certainly assisted families, authors found that in March 2020 the increase in these payments offset less than 15 percent of lost wages and income, due to delayed payments and eligible people not applying. Preliminary analysis of April 2020 found that UI had not reached everyone in need by then either. #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