Subsidized employment is an engine for economic opportunity, stronger labor markets, and healthier communities. It can mitigate structural barriers to work, such as racial discrimination in the labor market, and be adapted and scaled to meet specific worker, employer, and community needs. This report reviews a half-century of evidence on subsidized employment’s power to increase employment and incomes, reduce poverty, and ensure a more inclusive economy for everyone. It is the second edition of a 2016 report, “Lessons Learned from 40 Years of Subsidized Employment Programs.”
Nearly 15 million people in the U.S. who would like to work are unable to find a job—despite a historically low national unemployment rate. This blog, published in partnership with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, highlights one policy tool that would help create jobs and boost earnings for people in disinvested neighborhoods and communities: subsidized employment. A half-century’s worth of evidence suggests that a large-scale subsidized jobs program would help ensure the communities typically left behind in periods of economic growth can share in the nation’s economic security and opportunity.
Corporate market power touches virtually every facet of American life—from health care costs and access to grocery stores to our environment and the strength of our democratic institutions. Public benefits programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid, provide essential protections for workers and families from the harms of concentrated market power, including the prevalence of low-paid work. However, little attention has been paid to the complex relationships between public benefits and corporate market power. This working paper examines some of the relationships between corporate market power and public benefits and spotlights opportunities for further exploration of this emerging area of research.
Eighteen months after the largest job losses in U.S. history, unemployment is still high as workers, particularly Black and Hispanic workers, continue to struggle. While some indicators suggest the economy continues to recover, that recovery is uneven and fragile. America urgently needs a solution that supports workers, employers and communities alike, without leaving anyone behind. One proven and adaptable strategy that policymakers at all levels of government can mobilize now is subsidized employment.
The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis made employment more scarce and exacerbated long-standing challenges—like access to quality child care—for millions of workers, particularly workers who are Black and Brown. This brief, published in partnership with Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, shares the success story of Milwaukee’s New Hope Project—a program with a package of work-based supports that included subsidized jobs, earnings supplements, affordable health care, and child care. New Hope provides a blueprint for creating holistic, work-based approaches that significantly improve employment and family outcomes for participants and their communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.