ISSUE 109 | June 2 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Pennsylvania work requirements to resume in July
Work requirements in Pennsylvania were suspended last year due to the pandemic, but are set to resume in July.

This means anyone receiving unemployment benefits must actively search for work. 

Work requirements are highly politicized and have become partisan, despite evidence that they fail to address underlying issues. 

Vaccine-related inequities remain evident throughout the state   
Vaccine-related disparities remain entrenched in communities across Pennsylvania – even in its most diverse areas.

Significantly fewer Black and Latino residents than white residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Furthermore, gaps in data collection will hinder thorough research of the disparities’ long-term impact. 

State finances are stronger than anticipated
Pennsylvania’s budget deadline is on the horizon and lawmakers are facing a unique situation.

They have more cash than anticipated.

With COVID-19 relief funds and substantial tax revenues, the legislature must determine whether spending or saving money is the best strategy. 

Research Spotlight: The Institute's Winter 2021 Policy Tracker explores data surrounding workforce requirements as well as alternate incentives for workforce participation.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Public officials can create greater impact using social sentiment analysis 
Social sentiment analysis examines interactions online to learn about community needs and critical issues such as misinformation surrounding COVID-19.

Research suggests that by combining the right words with good policy, elected officials can influence positive behaviors in their residents.

Public health experts may rely on the tool to mitigate vaccine hesitancy and improve access to care, for instance.

Data-driven interventions adopted to improve school attendance
The problem of chronic absenteeism in school was problematic prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it continues to be of concern.

In response, the state of Connecticut passed legislation defining chronic absenteeism.

This clarity prompted development of an action strategy to mitigate the issue.

NYC to launch new workforce development effort for at-risk LGBTQ youth
New York City is poised to launch NYC Unity Works, the country’s largest ever workforce development initiative for young adults who are at risk and LGBTQ.

The multi-million dollar program includes job training, educational opportunities, mental health services, paid internships, and job placement.

The project’s goals are to help recipients establish long-term employment and a secure financial future.  

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