Subsidized Employment Programs

Subsidized employment programs—programs that use public funds to create temporary job opportunities—have positive impacts on employment and earnings for people facing barriers to employment. This workbook provides a detailed look at dozens of federal and state subsidized employment programs spanning over half a century, synthesizes evaluation data, and offers a resource for policymakers and advocates interested in subsidized employment as an equity-advancing response to unemployment.

Matching Timing To Need: Refundable Tax Credit Disbursement Options

Refundable tax credits are powerful tools for advancing economic security and opportunity, reducing poverty, and improving the lives of families in need. Despite their successes, these tax credits are limited by a key misalignment: unaffordable living expenses, unstable pay, and persistent hardship are experienced consistently or unpredictably throughout the year, unlike the single annual tax credit disbursement. This report provides a framework for policymakers and advocates seeking to create periodic payment options that align tax credit disbursement timing to need and advance economic, racial, and gender equity. The report also outlines specific periodic payment design recommendations for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, including flexible disbursement options.

Claiming Unemployment Benefits While Receiving Social Security Administration Disability Payments

COVID-19 response legislation greatly strengthened and expanded the dollar amount, duration, and coverage of unemployment assistance. These changes have prompted questions about the implications for workers receiving disability benefits. This brief discusses the interaction between disability benefits and unemployment assistance and clarifies benefits that unemployed workers can receive through pandemic-related unemployment assistance. It is published jointly with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, The Arc, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, The Century Foundation, and The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. 

No Choice: The Implications of Unmet Child Care Needs For Unemployment Assistance & Paid Leave Access During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the growing need for child care, paid leave, and unemployment assistance, but many state and federal unemployment assistance and paid leave programs fail to account for the child care needs of working families. This project chronicles and analyzes state-by-state policies on the availability of wage replacements for workers without child care. The table lists policies on the availability of unemployment assistance and paid leave by state, including D.C. and territories, including definitions of school “closures” for regular and pandemic unemployment assistance eligibility, work search requirements, and working documentation of state paid leave programs.

Types of Occupations in Subsidized Employment Programs

Subsidized employment is a promising and proven strategy for creating more equitable and accessible pathways to stable employment for all—especially people facing serious barriers to employment. A review of 40 years of subsidized employment programs found that subsidized employment models can increase incomes and employment, reduce involvement with the criminal justice system, improve the psychological well-being of participants and their families, and reduce long-term poverty. This resource highlights the broad range of occupations that have been made available through subsidized employment programs.