ISSUE 140 | January 19, 2022
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Exposure to air pollution linked to increased mental health issues 
It may come as no surprise that air pollution contributes to asthma and cancer rates, but evidence suggests that affects brain health as well.

Four of 10 Americans live in areas with poor air quality, and Alleghany County experiences some of the worst air pollution in the country.

Climate change fuels exposure to air pollution. 

Survey reveals insights into COVID’s impact on K-12 education
An education-focused survey from the University of Pittsburgh’s University center for Social and Urban Research and Pittsburgh Today revealed major differences regarding hybrid schooling.

Black respondents expressed greater concern than did White respondents, for example, and among races, and satisfaction was greater among suburban residents than urban respondents.

These groups did agree that robust after-school programming is vital, and supported increased spending on technology.

Latino residents spark civic engagement in Pennsylvania
The 2020 Census supports the assertion that people of color represent a growing cohort in Pennsylvania.

The Latino community in the Allentown area is actively discussing how to mobilize across the state and ensure that their collective voice is heard.

Reapportionment and redistricting are among the top priorities.

Research Spotlight!
The Institute's research team has also studied the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 education, with special emphasis on public schools in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Follow the link to access this two-part report, along with the entire series of insights into COVID-19.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Adaptive reuse will address NYC’s homelessness crisis
The incoming New York City mayor has set a goal to convert hotel space into 25,000 supportive housing units.

Comprehensive services will be available to residents, and include care for mental health and substance abuse issues.

The plan is to move quickly before the properties return to the market for hotel use in the future.

Functional unemployment emerges as a major economic challenge
Unemployment may be decreasing, but the rate fails to tell the whole story.

A measure of functional employment – earning enough to cover the cost of living – is the true strength of the economy.

California’s unemployment rate is 7.5 percent, for instance, but the functional unemployment rate is 25.7 percent. 

California survey illuminates Latina and Asian inequities 
A survey distributed to Latino and Asian immigrants addressed health and social inequities in three California regions.

Respondents expressed concern regarding surveillance and law enforcement, and shared their experiences regarding workplace discrimination.

These issues, along with fear of accessing health and government benefits, contribute to health inequity.  

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