The COVID-19 pandemic and recession have greatly magnified existing health and economic inequities, threatening the well-being of children and families. Children, families, and communities throughout the United States urgently need bold, equitable, and anti-racist human services to meet the extraordinary challenges facing our country. This brief summarizes the key recommendations from a GCPI research project identifying, developing, and prioritizing human services-focused federal executive actions to improve economic security and well-being for children and families in the U.S.
The COVID-19 pandemic and recession have intensified young adult unemployment and disconnection, increasing young people’s need for good job opportunities. The federal government urgently needs to address both the aging of its workforce and racial and gender inequity, particularly in senior positions, and hiring more young people can strengthen the diversity of the pipeline. This memo recommends an equity-focused executive order—centering communities of color and high-poverty communities—to increase young adult recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement in federal government jobs.
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.
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.
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.