ISSUE 57 | APRIL 6, 2020
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
PA.'s vulnerable populations hit hard with COVID-19 impact
Low-income families and other vulnerable populations face numerous challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Lost income because they are unable to work from home
  • An increasing numbers of families are relying on the free meals provided by their school districts

Jobless claims swamp PA. amid rise in virus cases
As of this article’s writing, the commonwealth had the highest number of unemployment claims in the nation – about 650,000 over less than two weeks.

According to Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania has been “the epicenter” of the nation’s jobless crisis.

PA. offers searchable database of open child care centers
The Department of Human Services in Pennsylvania has created a searchable database of child care centers that are approved to remain open for parents that have "essential jobs" and need to continue working during this time.

Currently, more than 600 child care centers throughout the commonwealth are approved to stay open.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Addiction is a 'disease of isolation,' so pandemic puts recovery at risk

While social distancing is necessary for mitigating the harm caused by the coronavirus, healthcare specialists are concerned about the impact it may have on people suffering from addiction.

  • The pandemic has restricted the ability of support groups to meet, which may make recovery more difficult.
  • Isolation may also lead to heightened anxiety or depression among people with addiction.
  • People who are alone when they use opioids are at a greater risk of a fatal overdose.

The qualities that imperil urban places during COVID-19 are also the keys to recovery
An analysis by the Brookings Institution explains that some of the factors that make cities dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic can also be advantageous for helping those cities recover.

For example:
  • Cities that are more regionally connected tend to be more exposed to the virus, but they also have more access to much-needed healthcare professionals and equipment.
  • While the density of urban areas is a risk, they tend to be better equipped for ensuring that households can get food.

How states can support shared prosperity in cities through quality jobs

A policy brief from the Urban Institute examines how state and local governments can work together to help cities gain quality jobs.

The authors explain that good job opportunities are often concentrated among small segments of the population.

Broadening access to these opportunities could be helpful for reducing inequality and developing “statewide shared prosperity.”

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