As federal and state policymakers continue to seek solutions to bring more Americans into the workforce, such as imposing and expanding work requirements on millions of safety net participants, Lauren Bauer and Jay Shambaugh explore the question: just how many more safety net beneficiaries can reasonably be expected to return to the workforce and secure consistent work?
This paper characterizes the types of individuals who would face work requirements in SNAP and Medicaid, describes what their work experiences are over a two-year period, and identifies the reasons why they are not working if they experience a period of unemployment or labor force nonparticipation. The analysis concludes that proposed work requirements would put at risk access to food assistance and health care for millions who are working, trying to work, or face barriers to working.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that 39.7 million Americans experienced poverty last year. In this commentary, Lauren Bauer takes a closer look at the numbers and argues for a job market that delivers more full-time positions, increases the wage returns to work, and maintains safety net programs.
Despite economic gains and recent increases, the share of Americans ages 25-54 participating in the labor force is still below pre-Great Recession level. The Hamilton Project provides an update of the employment rate gap by race/ethnicity and level of education.
The Hamilton Project has released a new interactive map that examines chronic absence rates at the school, district, and state levels. The map accompanies a new report offering a comprehensive analysis of nationwide data on chronic absence in U.S. schools, and recommend tools and strategies for reducing chronic absence.
Millions of Americans could lose their SNAP benefits if Congress adopts additional work requirements that mandate SNAP beneficiaries work at least 20 hours per week. Lauren Bauer and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach argue that work requirements will burden those already in the labor market, especially SNAP recipients who shift between full-time and part-time work due to labor market volatility.
To investigate the extent of exposure to additional work requirements for SNAP participants, we describe monthly employment stability and find considerable churn in the labor market across the 20 hours per week threshold proposed in the House Farm Bill. Over 16 months, between one in five and one in three adults 18-59 without young children at home could be exposed to sanction under the House work requirement proposal.
Food insecurity is associated with negative educational outcomes and declining physical health in children. In this blog post, Lauren Bauer documents the current state of food insecurity among families with children and offers policy solutions drawn from recent Hamilton Project reports.
Educational and occupational choices matter for your earnings, but where you work matters, too. Employment opportunities and wages in some occupations vary substantially from state to state, county to county, and city to city. One location might be a great place to earn a living as a nurse but not as a construction worker (e.g., New Orleans, Louisiana), while a different location might be the opposite (e.g., Utica, New York). In this economic analysis we look at some of the ways that typical earnings in an occupation—and the value of those earnings after adjusting for taxes and cost of living—vary across the United States. We also examine some of the reasons why places have such different labor markets.
Lauren Bauer and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach provide an update on the state of food insecurity in the U.S., noting that despite economic growth across the country, food insecurity among households with children is still above its pre-recession level.
An estimated 15.5 million U.S. workers have alternative arrangements for their primary employment—this includes independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers, and workers provided by contract firms. Alternative work arrangements may on the one hand represent flexibility of the U.S. labor market; on the other hand, such arrangements may indicate insufficient labor demand. These new arrangements likely require different labor market institutions to protect workers as well as new data to properly understand the state of the labor market.
Fellow Lauren Bauer breaks down why chronic absenteeism matters for all students, drawing on a new Hamilton Project strategy paper on school accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act.