ISSUE 126 | October 8, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Philly Fed researches inclusive recovery for workers
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has issued a research brief and initiated several community conversations to explore the challenges and potential solutions for creative economic recovery.

Workforce experts and economists have noted that women represent a target cohort, due to concerns surrounding the gender pay gap and access to affordable childcare.

The research points to alteration of the workforce ecosystem for more equitable distribution of resources and opportunity.  

Chambersburg passes law protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination
Chambersburg has joined 69 other communities in Pennsylvania to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

The act passed 7-3.

The Commonwealth is home to various LGBTQ-inclusive ordinances, though it is the only northeastern state yet to pass such legislation. 

FBI continues probe into public pension fund
Throughout the country, public employee pension programs (which guarantee lifetime payouts of specific amounts to public employees upon their retirement) have been operating in the red – leaving school districts and taxpayers to cover the costs.

Private sector companies abandoned this type of program in the 1980s and most cities and states are attempting to do so as well.

The status of Pennsylvania’s plan is unknown, and potential fraud is being investigated. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Shift to remote work complicates lower-wage earners in urban areas
Employers are extending remote work opportunities due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, and some are even abandoning the traditional workplace all together.

With white collar or higher-end workers able to operate from anywhere, rents in major cities are decreasing.

This is good news for lower-wage workers, although the lack of commuters also threatens the stability of those lower-paying jobs.

Need for dental coverage rises as lack of care is linked to adverse health conditions
Although poor dental care leads to other health issues, it is not generally prioritized as primary care.

It is not covered by Medicare, and is therefore inaccessible to many people.

Problems left unchecked as a result eventually increase the cost of health care, affect worker productivity, and ultimately spur a negative ripple effect through the economy. 

Santa Cruz creates ordinance to discourage racially motivated 911 calls   
California’s Santa Cruz County recently proposed an ordinance in an effort to reduce bias based on gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

The ordinance could allow fines up to $1,000 if calls to 911 or law enforcement are motivated by such prejudice.

Without this type of measure, individuals targeted by callers (without reasonable cause) are left with the option of civil suit.

Research Spotlight: The Institute's Health and Health Care Task Force has examined oral health challenges in Northeastern Pennsylvania, along with issues pertaining to health literacy and determinants. Click below, and then on the red box labeled 'Health and Health Care.' Scroll to find The Institute's extensive research surrounding the region's workforce dynamics.

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