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.
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.
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.
Subsidized employment is a proven strategy for creating more equitable and accessible pathways to stable employment for all—especially people facing serious barriers to employment. Subsidized employment programs 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, published jointly with the Heartland Alliance, illustrates the wide reach and versatility of subsidized employment programs by highlighting the broad range of occupations available to program participants.
Jobs are at the heart of our nation’s debates around poverty and economic security. In this joint report from the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality and the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, we find that a comprehensive subsidized employment program would reach millions of U.S. workers left behind in today’s economy, reducing the poverty rate among participants by nearly half.
The Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality along with some of the country’s leading experts are excited to release a new article, “Working to Reduce Poverty: A National Subsidized Employment Proposal.” Subsidized employment programs that increase labor supply and demand are a proven, underutilized strategy for reducing poverty in the short and long term. This article proposes two new separate but harmonized federal funding streams for subsidized employment.
Realizing Full Employment: Bold Policy Solutions to Advance Economic Opportunity for All
This webinar provided an overview of the current subsidized employment landscape, explored a new policy proposals for a national subsidized employment strategies, and lifted up lessons learned from implementing these strategies in communities. We hope this conversation helps to build momentum for a national subsidized employment program and similar policy solutions that can help reduce poverty by ensuring that all people can access and succeed in work.
To view the full recording of the webinar, visit here.
To see the slides from the webinar, visit here.
A framework, review of models, and recommendations for helping disadvantaged workers. Featured in The Atlantic article, “The Case for a New WPA,” the center’s report presents the most extensive review to date of subsidized employment programs and models spanning four decades that target populations with serious or multiple barriers to employment in the United States.
Taking on Chronic Unemployment: Lessons Learned From 40 Years of Subsidized Employment Programs
The center, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the Heartland Alliance held a webinar on how states can explore adopting and innovating subsidized employment programs as a promising strategy for helping long-term and chronically unemployed workers succeed in the labor market.
The center joined Community Legal Services and the Community Justice Project in submitting comments on Pennsylvania’s proposal, outlining the importance of allocating the full possible share of funding dedicated to transitional employment, a form of subsidized employment that focuses on transitioning workers into unsubsidized employment.
Article in the Fall 2015 issue of InSight on two-generation approaches to poverty reduction and the Earned Income Tax Credit.