Tag Archive | poverty

Together, We Can Be #ANationThatWorks

By Tara Maguire, Workforce Research & Policy Fellow, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
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What’s it going to take to end chronic unemployment and poverty for all Americans? What’s it going to take to make us #ANationThatWorks for everyone? On October 25 through 27 in Chicago, we invite you tackle these tough questions at our national conference, A Nation That Works: What’s It Going to Take? There, you’ll encounter a wide range of content lifting up solutions to end chronic unemployment, supporting the adoption of best and promising employment practices for the people who need them most, and advancing policy solutions and systems change for addressing chronic unemployment and poverty. We’ll also highlight efforts in Chicago and across the country to improve job quality for low-wage workers. Excited? We are! Read on to learn more about what to expect at #ANationThatWorks.

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America Needs a Big Investment in Subsidized Employment

By Indivar Dutta-Gupta & Kali Grant, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality

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The job market continues to bounce back from the economic downturn, but Americans’ feelings about job opportunities remain the same. Despite months or even years searching for jobs, two million Americans—more than a quarter of all unemployed workers—are long-term unemployed, meaning they’ve been searching for work for six months or longer. Unemployment is in no uncertain terms a waste of economic and human potential in our communities, demanding attention from philanthropists, advocates, service providers, and policymakers alike. Subsidized employment is a proven, promising, and underutilized approach to solving this problem.

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Presents with a Purpose: 2015’s Social Enterprise Holiday Shopping Guide

By Leiha Edmonds, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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As we enter the holiday season, we once again encourage you to give gifts that give back by shopping at social enterprises that help individuals facing barriers to employment get back to work. For the 2015 social enterprise holiday shopping guide, we spotlight a diverse group of businesses that use their sales revenue to fund job training programs and support a larger social justice mission. From coffee to books to granola bars, you’ll find great gift options for friends and family. Take a look, learn about social enterprise, and find thoughtful gifts that support job training this holiday season!

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Transitional Jobs Programs Need to Prioritize Job Quality

By Chris Warland, Associate Director for Field Building, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Photo via San Jacinto College.

Photo via San Jacinto College.

Job quality for entry-level workers in the US is pretty dismal. The minimum wage is historically very low when adjusted for inflation, wage theft and other violations of wage and hour laws are commonplace, and employers often limit workers to part-time status or misclassify them as independent contractors in order to avoid offering benefits or paying overtime. New scheduling software allows employers to assign workers for short, unpredictable shifts in a way that maximizes profit but makes it difficult to plan transportation, arrange for childcare, or work more than one job (which is often necessary when you’re limited to part-time work).

We know that just getting a job is often not enough to allow an individual or family to escape poverty in America. There are millions of “working poor” Americans for whom the promise of hard work as a means to stability and security has not materialized. Over sixty-five percent of households living in poverty contain at least one working adult.

If transitional jobs programs succeed only in moving job seekers from chronic unemployment into low-wage, low-quality jobs, we have failed. We are merely adding to the numbers of the “working poor”—and we can do better.

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Five Good Ideas to Combat Poverty in America

By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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With midterm elections only a few weeks away, politicians are busy on the campaign trail talking to millions of Americans about our nation’s challenges and their plans for how to address them effectively. As candidates frame the issues, debate ideas, and seek to draw voters to the polls, we believe there’s one pressing issue that deserves to be on the top of the agenda: poverty.

The most recent poverty data show that 14.5 percent of Americans, or 45.3 million people, live in poverty. Nearly 20 million Americans are considered extremely poor which, for a family of three, means living on less than about $9,000 per year. Digging deeper into these numbers, nearly one in five children lives in poverty and as many as 6.5 million children live in families that are extremely poor. Hispanics and African-Americans represent 30 percent of the total population, but 52.5 percent of the population living in poverty.

We believe that every person deserves the opportunity to support themselves and their families and that no one should live in poverty. As we enter the final weeks of the 2014 election season, we have five anti-poverty strategies that we’d like to see candidates talking about—and taking action on once they’re in office.

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