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Uncertain futures?: youth attachment to the labor market in the United States and New England
In the wake of the Great Recession, high levels of unemployment and low labor force participation rates among U. S. youth are of great concern, receiving considerable attention from policy makers and the popular press. These trends have led observers to question what the future path of employment will look like for younger workers. Of particular concern is the share of the youth population that is idle, or what is technically termed ?not in employment, education, or training? (NEET). These individuals are particularly vulnerable to continued adverse labor market outcomes and their prolonged ...
State foreclosure prevention efforts: mediation and financial assistance
Housing foreclosure activity in the United States and New England increased dramatically at the beginning of the housing crisis in 2006 and remains elevated. Given their economic and social costs, policymakers have developed a number of policies designed to prevent foreclosures. In recent years, state and local policymakers in New England have implemented two major foreclosure prevention policies: foreclosure mediation programs and financial assistance programs. This report reviews these two foreclosure prevention programs in the New England region. It explores how they are funded, weighs ...
Reintegrating the ex-offender population in the U.S. labor market: lessons from the CORI Reform in Massachusetts
Policymakers have proposed and enacted policies that seek to limit the negative consequences that a criminal record imposes on ex-offenders, their families, and society at large. Some states have changed how criminal records are accessed and governed in the interest of removing unduly burdensome barriers to employment for some ex-offenders. Between 2010 and 2012, Massachusetts enacted the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform, changing access guidelines for criminal records and preventing employers from inquiring about criminal history on an initial application for employment. ...
Student-loan debt, delinquency, and default: a New England perspective
In 2009, student-loan debt became the largest non-housing-related consumer debt in the United States. By 2013, outstanding student debt balances had grown to exceed $1 trillion, and by the end of 2015, had reached $1.23 trillion. These milestones coincided with increasing rates of delinquency and default among borrowers, raising concerns about the affordability of this debt. In addition, researchers have recently found an array of adverse effects from such debt, including the impact on homeownership and vehicle purchases, small-business formation, and retirement preparedness. These factors ...
The quest for cost-efficient local government in New England: what role for regional consolidation?
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many local governments have experienced significant financial strain. Local governments? financial challenges are likely to continue in the foreseeable future, as federal deficit-reducing measures trigger cuts in state and local aid and as all levels of government struggle to fund their medical and retirement obligations. In an effort to maintain service provision without significant tax increases, many cities and towns will be forced to consider a variety of cost-cutting measures, including joint service provision with other localities. ; This ...
Achieving greater fiscal stability: guidance for the New England states
This report considers the New England states? past preparedness for revenue downturns caused by business cycle fluctuations and assesses policy actions that could promote greater fiscal stability in the future.
When the tide goes out: unemployment insurance trust funds and the Great Recession, lessons for and from New England
The unemployment insurance (UI) program is a federal-state program aiming to: (1) provide temporary, partial compensation for the lost earnings of individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own and (2) serve as a stabilizer during economic downturns by injecting additional resources into the economy in the form of benefit payments. Each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, operates its own UI program within federal guidelines. ; Since the onset of the Great Recession in late 2007, two-thirds of state UI programs depleted their trust funds ...
Reaching the goal: expanding health insurance coverage in New England: current strategies and new initiatives
As the number and percentage of people without health insurance continues to climb, the goal of expanding such coverage is even more pressing. Traditional strategies have had only limited success. And with little movement at the federal level, states have chosen to enact their own bold initiatives. Four New England states - Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont - have recently passed or implemented programs to expand health insurance coverage, some with the goal of achieving near-universal coverage. By combining different strategies from across the political spectrum, the new ...
Racial and Socioeconomic Test-Score Gaps in New England Metropolitan Areas: State School Aid and Poverty Segregation
Test-score data show that both low-income and racial-minority children score lower, on average, on states’ elementary-school accountability tests compared with higher-income children or white children. While different levels of scholastic achievement depend on a host of influences, such test-score gaps point toward unequal educational opportunity as a potentially important contributor. This report explores the relationship between racial and socioeconomic test-score gaps in New England metropolitan areas and two factors associated with unequal opportunity in education: state equalizing ...
How does New Hampshire do it?: an analysis of spending and revenues in the absence of a broad-based income or sales tax
This report seeks to understand how New Hampshire has avoided a broad-based income or sales tax by examining the factors that drive the state?s lower-than-average per capita spending and the revenue sources the state relies on to pay for that spending in lieu of an income or sales tax. It presents comparative data for the six New England states and discusses some of the impediments faced by other states in the region interested in emulating New Hampshire's fiscal model. ; The author finds that New Hampshire's below-average spending is due to a combination of policy choices and favorable ...