The Bottom LineThe Bottom Line

Economics in Brief: Philadelphia to Try Guaranteed Income Program

Also: D.C. day-care workers get financial support, and more.

Philadelphia City Hall

(Photo by ByteForByte / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Philadelphia to Try Guaranteed Income Program

Philadelphia will give up to 60 people $500 a month for a year in a basic income pilot program set to begin as early as March, WHYY reports.

Existing funds from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) will cover the cost. Across the U.S. recipients are forced to meet various criteria, such as work requirements, for TANF support. The selected Philadelphians will get the aid without any restrictions.

Participants in the program will also benefit from “case management, coaching, licensed counseling, and peer to peer experiences to develop a career pathway,” that will be provided through Philadelphia’s WorkReady initiative. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will document the number of recipients who are able to get a full-time job and stop relying on TANF by the end of the 12 months.

The program is still in the preliminary stages as its implementation is contingent on a waiver from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services that would allow participants to receive this assistance without becoming ineligible from other programs.

Philadelphia residents can also expect additional aid to come through a second basic income program launching through the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation. This new initiative, however, is set to assist renters later this year.

Learn more about how basic income programs are taking off around the country through Next City’s interactive map and our most recent podcast episode.

D.C. Day-Care Workers Will Receive $10,000 Checks

Thousands of day-care workers in the nation’s capital will receive checks of at least $10,000, CBS News reports.

According to the 2020 Early Childhood Workforce Index, day-care workers earn a median wage of $11.65 an hour, adding up to an annual salary that falls under the federal poverty line.

‘We have to invest in the teachers so they are able to make ends meet on their own and are able to come to work every day and dedicate their days to caring for young children,” Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen, DC Action’s director of early childhood policy and programs, told CBS about the checks. “For a long time we’ve ignored the needs of the teachers, and if we want programs to be high quality and available and affordable, we have to publicly invest so they can see this as a career rather than a stop along the way in their career.”

This program is also set to alleviate the stress day-care centers face as increases in their workers’ salary would require charging families more for child care.

Funds are coming from a new D.C. tax on the city’s most affluent residents.

UC Berkeley Economists Invite You to Track Wealth Inequality

UC Berkeley economists have launched Realtime Inequality, a new tool for analyzing wealth inequality in the United States.

Researchers involved in the development wanted to make data on wealth and income inequality more accurate and readily available. Emmanuel Saez, one of the professors behind the site, said Realtime Inequality snapshots the success of government assistance, as “all income groups recovered their pre-pandemic income level within 20 months,” compared to the four years it took for earners to do the same during the Great Recession. “The pandemic and its dramatic and very fast impact on the economy provides the perfect illustration why it is crucial to have timely and high frequency distributional data,” Saez added. “It also shows how government support can dramatically affect the distribution of income.”

The researchers are hoping that this tool will push the government to continue passing effective economic policies during recessions. Analyze here.

This article is part of The Bottom Line, a series exploring scalable solutions for problems related to affordability, inclusive economic growth and access to capital. Click here to subscribe to our Bottom Line newsletter.

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Solcyre (Sol) Burga was an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow with Next City for summer 2021. Burga graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in political science and journalism in May of 2022. As a Newark native and immigrant, she hopes to elevate the voices of underrepresented communities in her work.

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Tags: philadelphiawashington dcguaranteed incomeinequality

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