In spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a severe economic recession. At the time, a federal initiative designed to lift up evidence-based solutions for job seekers with low incomes pivoted to surface evidence-based recommendations to guide workforce programs during economic recessions and recoveries.
The federal initiative is called the Pathways to Work Evidence Clearinghouse, which is a publicly available website that functions like Consumer Reports for policies, programs, and strategies that could help job seekers with low incomes. The Pathways Clearinghouse not only lists a menu of potential interventions to try, but it shows which ones have a track record of success, according to rigorous research. Anyone can use the Pathways Clearinghouse, but the main audiences are practitioners, such as TANF administrators and workforce development providers; policymakers; and researchers. Mathematica created and operates the Pathways Clearinghouse for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) at the Administration for Children and Families.
Beyond regularly curating relevant research for the Pathways Clearinghouse, Mathematica also produces summaries that synthesize findings across different studies reviewed by the Clearinghouse. In November 2021, Mathematica and OPRE published one such analysis: an evidence review on what works during economic recessions and recoveries to help workers with low incomes complete education and training, find and keep jobs, increase their earnings, and—in the long run—use fewer public programs.
This episode of On the Evidence shares insights from the evidence review that could be useful for policymakers and practitioners in the field. Our guests also discuss the motivation behind the Pathways Clearinghouse and how online tools like the clearinghouse are helping decision makers sift through the research literature to quickly find timely, practical insights that can help them do their jobs and ultimately improve public well-being.
The guests for this episode are Tyreese Nicolas, Kimberly Clum, and Alex Stanczyk.
Nicolas served as an assistant director of employment services at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance for four years and recently became the Deputy Commissioner of Family Access and Engagement in the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.
Clum is a senior social science research analyst with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.
Stanczyk is a researcher at Mathematica, where she focuses on public policies and programs that serve individuals and families that face social or economic disadvantage.
Listen to the full episode.
We’re here to help families in transition, so we were assisting them with cash, but it wasn’t providing enough for them to be able to take care of their families. So, they were really looking for the flexibility to be able to take care of their children in their home, make sure that their families are safe, and also have enough – a little more income to be able to sustain their family in a pandemic.
I’m J.B. Wogan from Mathematica, and welcome back to On the Evidence, a show that examines what we know about today’s most urgent challenges and how we can make progress in addressing them.
In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a severe economic recession. At the time, a federal initiative designed to lift up evidence-based solutions for job seekers with low incomes pivoted to service specific recommendations from prior research on employment programs. The idea was that an examination of evaluations conducted during prior economic recessions, recoveries, and stable periods could guide program responses in this new pandemic economy that we are still living in.
Now, some aspects of the economy are stronger than they were in March of 2020. For example, the unemployment rate has dropped below four percent, about where it was right before the public health emergency. Still, the pandemic has affected work opportunities for certain groups more than others. For example, the data show relatively large declines in labor force participation and labor force exits among women with young children. And particularly black and Latino women with young children. Although unemployment rates for black men and teenagers have declined, they continue to be much higher than the unemployment rate for all workers 16 years or older.
So, how do we make sure those job seekers find and keep good jobs? While we have less evidence to guide decisions about helping workers during a pandemic, we certainly have evidence, and recent evidence to boot, about effective support services during economic recessions and recoveries. And that’s the data that the federal initiative I mentioned before is currently using to empower individuals who run programs for job seekers with low incomes.
The federal initiative is called The Pathways to Work Evidence Clearinghouse. It’s a publicly-available website that functions almost like Consumer Reports for interventions, that is, policies, programs, and strategies that could help job seekers with low incomes. And The Pathways Clearinghouse not only lists this menu of potential interventions to try, but it shows which ones have a track record of success according to rigorous research. Anyone can use The Pathways Clearinghouse, but the main target audiences are researchers, policymakers, and practitioners like TANF administrators and workforce development providers.
My colleagues at Mathematica created and operate The Clearinghouse for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at the Administration for Children and Families. Beyond curating relevant research for The Pathways Clearinghouse on an ongoing basis, Mathematica also produces summaries that synthesize evidence across different studies. In November of 2021, we published one such analysis, an evidence review on what works during economic recessions and recoveries to help workers with low incomes complete education and training, find and keep jobs, increase their earnings, and, in the long run, participate in fewer public programs.
On this episode of On the Evidence, my guests and I talk about insights from the evidence review that could be useful for policymakers and practitioners in the field. We also talk about the motivation behind The Pathways Clearinghouse and how online tools like The Clearinghouse are enabling decision makers to sift through the literature to quickly find timely practical insights that can help them do their jobs and ultimately improve public well-being.
My guests for this episode are Tyreese Nicholas, Kimberly Clum, and Alex Stanczyk. For the past four years, Tyreese has been an Assistant Director of Employment Services at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance though it should be noted that a few days after our interview she began a new role as the Deputy Commissioner of Family Access and Engagement at the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.
Kimberly is a Senior Social Science Research Analyst with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.
And Alex is a researcher at Mathematica where she focuses on public policies and programs that serve individuals and families that face social or economic disadvantage.
I hope you enjoy the conversation.
This first question, Alex, is for you. based on historical research about the economic impacts of pandemics and recessions on job seekers with low incomes, what were you most concerned about in terms of COVID-19 and what it would mean for that part of the labor force?
Thank you, J.B. As you mentioned in the intro, the COVID-19 pandemic really changed employment and quite dramatic ways. Of course, at the start of the pandemic, the national unemployment rate in the U.S. tripled from 3.5% in February of 2020 to 14.7 in April of the same year. The overall unemployment rate has decreased steadily since. It was at 3.8% in September of this year. That said, as you really pointed out nicely, different groups have experienced these changes very differently. You mentioned exits from the labor force among women with children, particularly with mean of color. And we also know that unemployment rates continue to be high for some groups. For example, among young people, the unemployment rate last month was 11.4%, and for black or African-American people, it was 5.8%, so considerably higher.
Research suggests that even short periods of unemployment can have long-term negative effects on a person’s earnings or employment, so this situation is certainly concerning.
Okay. And then let me stick with you for one more question, Alex. Given that the unemployment rate is back to about where it was before the pandemic, but there is now some anxiety about another recession coming, are those concerns different now?
Yeah, that’s a great question, J.B. Let me sort of step back for a moment. There are lots of ways to define recessions, recoveries, and stable economic periods. So, for the report you mentioned in the intro, we were focused on employment and economic stability of people with low incomes, so we used a definition for recession and recovery that was based on unemployment rates as opposed to other economic factors. So, we considered it to be a recession when the national unemployment rate was rising quickly and a recovery when the unemployment rate was falling quickly. Then a more steady period when the unemployment rate was not changing as much.
So, coming back to your question, as you mentioned, by this definition we are now in one of those more steady economic periods, a time when the national unemployment rate has not changed much throughout this year. And, of course, there’s concern right now with rising inflation and other types of economic uncertainty, you know, that those things could cause unemployment to potentially rise again. Of course, I do not have a crystal ball.
So, researchers have suggested that these different economic conditions might actually make different kinds of services more or less helpful in getting people prepped for, applying to, and connected to jobs. So, for example, services that aim to get people into jobs quickly might be most effective during times like now when the unemployment rate is actually pretty low and steady. In this kind of moment, finding a job quickly can be easier and employment services might actually match participants to better fitting, higher-paying jobs than they might have connected to without those services. And then, in another type of economic condition, in more of a recessionary period when the unemployment rate is climbing, more time-intensive services, so things like education and training could actually be more impactful. Because they are taking people out of the labor market and upscaling them, but in a time when it might have been hard to find a job anywhere.
So, our aim with this report was to look to past recessions, recoveries, and stable periods similar to the one we’re in right now to see what types of interventions and services seemed to work in those contexts. Also, those practitioners could go into this present moment and whatever moment is to come armed with those lessons.
Tyreese, I want to turn to you now. When the pandemic started disrupting the economy in the spring of 2020, what were you and your staff hearing from clients seeking employment assistance? What did they need, and how has the demand for services changed?
So, what I would say our – our – we were hearing from our clients, one, was that they needed some kind of help with childcare. That was the number one. And, you know, in the beginning with the – with the pandemic, it was harder to find providers who actually had the accessability to take on more children.
The other thing we were hearing was some level of flexibility, right. Is it going to, you know, are there going to be job opportunities that are virtual and how do I get there, right. And the other side to it was that nervousness that existed with Covid, you know. People were afraid. Some families were afraid, and they had to really balance like, am I going to put my family at risk while I’m still seeking income to be able to take care of my family? So, I think it was really like a balance. And because I’m working at the, you know, Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, like we’re here to help families in transition. So, we’re providing SNAP benefits and also cash assistance benefits specifically in the program I work for, so we were assisting them with cash, but it wasn’t providing enough for them to be able to take care of their families. So, they were really looking for the flexibility to be able to do, too, right. Take care of their children in their home. Make sure that their families are safe. And also have enough – a little more income to be able to sustain their family in a pandemic. Something no one had ever experienced. Most of us had never experienced any – anything like what we were going to experience.
Tyreese, I want to stick with you for one more question here. What questions did you and your staff have about how to best respond to this crisis? And when you are looking for solutions to a new problem facing your staff and clients, where can you turn?
We turn to researchers. Right, we turn to the researchers like yourself. And we tap into our resources. For Department of Transitional Assistance, that’s our community-based organizations that contract with us to serve our families. Because we have about 31 providers, and they serve about 21 locations across the state. We reached out to them. What are they experiencing? What are they hearing from our families? And, you know, much of what they were hearing was, we’re afraid. We can’t leave our children alone. We don’t have anyone to care for them. The jobs that are available are in the healthcare field, and the hours don’t align with what the availability is for our – for childcare that is available, right?
And then the other side of it, they wanted to know what additional supports were we going to be able to provide. You know, in our – in the TANF program, there are work program requirements. Yes, we made some adjustments and we had some flexibility around consequences for not engaging in the work program, yet they still, you know, want to build their skills, right. So, for those families who wanted to work, their options were minimal. And they wanted to know how were we going to better support them. In TANF, there wasn’t extra money. Right. Our TANF grant was what it was. On the SNAP side, you know, there were adjustments made there. We had Pandemic EVT and we had, you know, and mostly all of our families received a full SNAP benefit. And so, we really talked to our providers about how do we help our families manage with what they have and the extra – and what would be extra. And during the pandemic, the extra was, you know, SNAP benefits.
Kim, I’d like to turn to you now. One resource for helping state agencies like the one in Massachusetts where Tyreese works is The Pathways Clearinghouse. For listeners not yet in the know, give us some background. What is The Pathways Clearinghouse? Why was it created? And how might it be helpful during and after the pandemic?
Well, thanks for the opportunity to tell folks about The Pathways Clearinghouse. J.B. On one level, The Pathways Clearinghouse is a user-friendly public website where you can go to get, you know, both a big picture sense of what we know so far about what works to improve earnings and employment outcomes for individuals who have low incomes. As well a detailed understanding of the evidence around specific programs or interventions. On perhaps a deeper level, though, The Pathways Clearinghouse is an evidence review which is a systematic effort to identify and assess the existing evidence and then to categorize that evidence in ways that make it easier for practitioners and policymakers and researchers to use. It’s a really rigorous approach for comparing different sources of evidence and then summarizing what we can learn across that evidence about what works.
But let me just unpack a few of those details. So, first, as I mentioned and as you noted in your introduction, J.B., The Pathways Clearinghouse is a public resource. It’s free. It’s available to everybody. But second, it’s a really rigorous and systematic effort to identify and assess the existing evidence. That effort means that we’re able to evaluate the quality of the evidence to help users know how much they can trust specific findings. But it also allows us to synthesize or summarize information across lots and lots of different findings. And that kind of synthesis work allows us to learn new things like the report we’re discussing today.
You also asked like why did we create The Pathways Clearinghouse. So, if you go to the website, you’ll see that it currently represents the results of information we gathered from reviewing 305 individual studies and 231 different interventions. You know, that is a lot of research studies and interventions. And, you know, as those numbers indicate, there is really a really large body of evidence that’s been built over many decades on employment and training programs for individuals who have low incomes. But the fact that there is so much evidence, and that it’s been developed in so many different places by different federal agencies, by academic institutions, by philanthropic organizations, that actually makes it difficult for policymakers to easily find the data they need to inform their funding and policy decisions, and for service providers to find information they need to improve design and delivery of programs and services. So, The Pathways Clearinghouse is designed to meet those needs by being a one-stop website that makes it easy to find and easy to understand the best information we have about what works to improve outcomes for individuals who have low incomes.
And we hope The Pathways Clearinghouse might be useful. You know, when we designed, it, we really took very seriously the mandate that we wanted to really ensure that what we learned from doing this evidence review is actually really accessible and useful. We wanted to make sure that the knowledge that we’re developing about what works makes it into the hands of the people who actually need that information, the people who are making decisions about how to allocate public resources or run public programs. And then for policymakers and practitioners like Tyreese.
Alex, I want to turn back to you now. Late last year, OPRE and Mathematica published a report summarizing a large body of evidence on interventions to help job seekers with low incomes during economic recessions and recoveries. For somebody who hasn’t read it yet, what would you say are the three most important takeaways from that research?
Yeah. All right. So, three takeaways. I’ll go over them quickly and then maybe try to go in a little more detail.
I think first, high level, we found that in all economic conditions there are interventions that can help.
Next we found that specific types of interventions were especially effective during recessions and recoveries.
And finally, we try to use these findings to draw some potential lessons for service providers.
So, let me dig into each of those.
So, first, there are interventions that can help. Of the 141 interventions we considered, 30 were implemented during recessions. And eight of those 30 had statistically-significant positive average effects on outcomes. Outcomes like employment, earnings, education and training, and public benefits receipt in the longer term.
Ninety-five of the interventions were implemented during recoveries, so that is during periods of decreasing unemployment. And of those, 22 had favorable average effects. So, there are programs out there with evidence of effectiveness in – in these two different kinds of challenging economic conditions.
Okay. So, next we found specific types of interventions were especially effective during recessions and recoveries. During recessions, interventions that primarily focused on case management or other supports, employment services, work and work-based learning were more effective than those that focused on things like education and training, employment retention, or incentives and sanctions.
So, to put some numbers to that, for example on average interventions that focused on case management or other supports and were implemented during recessions, led to an impact equivalent to an increase in annual average earnings of around $1,700.00. Employment services and work and work-based learning interventions implemented in recessions were linked to $1,500.00 and $1,000.00 increases on average in annual earnings.
Okay, so that’s during recessions.
So, during recoveries, so, again, times when the unemployment rate is falling, interventions that primarily focused on education and training, work and work-based learning, employment services, case management or other supports and incentives and sanctions, as opposed to those that focused on employment-retention-type services had evidence of improving outcomes. During recoveries, the largest average effects were for interventions that used education and training as their primary focus. And during recoveries, these interventions were associated with impacts equivalent to a $1,600.00 increase in average annual earnings.
So, meaningful effects sizes.
During recoveries, again, interventions that primarily focused on work and work-based learning, employment services or case management or other supports also had average effects equivalent to over $1,000.00 in additional average annual earnings.
So, as I said, finally we used these findings to draft some ideas for lessons for practitioners in this area. So, during recessions our suggestion would be that practitioners and policymakers might consider placing more emphasis on case management or other supports and less on things like education and training. And then during recoveries, again that’s when the unemployment rate is falling by our definition, practitioners and policymakers might instead considering targeting resources towards interventions that focus on education and training, work and work-based learning, employment services, incentives and sanctions, and case management or other supports.
So, I guess to wrap it all up, this is what we found. There are interventions that have evidence of effectiveness across these economic periods, but it does seem like certain types can be especially effective or – or have evidence of being especially effective in recessions and recoveries.
Terrific. Now, Alex, listeners may wonder, how do you know which interventions are most effective? Do you mind pulling back the curtain a bit and explaining how you reached those conclusions? Like, what goes into an evidence review like this?
Yeah. Great question.
With this report, we looked across rigorous studies of 141 interventions, all interventions aimed at helping people with low incomes connect to employment or earnings, or higher earnings. Then we grouped these 141 interventions by whether they were implemented during periods that we defined as recessions, recoveries, or stable economic periods, so three groups. Then, within each group, we looked at whether and what interventions had rigorous evidence of improving outcomes within each of the economic conditions.
We also grouped those 141 interventions by the primary strategy the intervention used to see if certain types of interventions or types of services were more or less effective under certain economic conditions.
Kim, I want to turn back to you. You know, at Mathematica we’re – we’re very interested in what happens after the evidence is generated. What kind of impact does it have? Does it lead to action? I was curious, from your standpoint, what do you hope people learn from this latest research? What would you like to see happen after people read the report?
What I hope people take away from this report, J.B., is that there is good news, good news, and some more good news. You know, the first bit of good news is that under any economic conditions there are interventions that work. That measurably improve outcomes for participants.
The second bit of good news is that even under very challenging economic conditions there are interventions that work. You know, as Alex discussed, out of all the interventions or programs that The Pathways Clearinghouse reviewed, Pathways identified 30 interventions that have been implemented during recessions. And, you know, then we found that eight of those 30 interventions seemed to improve outcomes during recessions. I think that might be a surprising finding for folks. So, the most important conclusion that we hope program administrators and policymakers draw from this research is that there are programs that work even under difficult economic conditions.
The third bit of good news is that by teasing out what kinds of interventions seem to work better under different kinds of economic conditions, we hope, you know, we can provide practitioners with information they can use, you know, to direct their resources towards the kinds of services or approaches that might be more effective at different times depending on current economic conditions, especially their current local economic conditions. As Alex, you know, really so clearly laid out, some approaches are more effective during some economic conditions that others, and so, we hope that program administrators and policymakers can use the evidence from this report to really, you know, inform the design of their programs that they oversee. We hope the findings can help them better align the services that they offer to what the evidence suggests is most effective, you know, depending, of course, on their local economic conditions. But in doing that, in better aligning those services to the kind of different and varying economic conditions, we really hope that that can really improve the odds for the job seekers they are serving.
Tyreese, I’m going to turn back to you now. As a member of one of the intended audiences of The Pathways Clearinghouse, how have you used it in your agency’s response to the pandemic?
Pathways was a great resource in that The Pathways Clearinghouse actually showed us what had worked. What had worked. What worked well. And if we had something similar, what adjustments could we make to improve it? And we know, you know, for us we realize the importance of on-the-job training. And there being on-the-job training with a mentoring component that also has a component of – we like to say financial coaching, right. Not financial literacy, but financial coaching. And it also had mitigation planning, like what happens when life happens? Everyone has a mentor. Everyone has friends. Those – those – those conversations look a little bit different until like something we know will always exist. Transportation will always be what it is. Childcare will always be what it is. But learning how to navigate those spaces with someone, we found was more effective for families, right, and it helped families become more successful.
Some of that information we were able to see, like, oh, well, how do we support this anecdote? Because initially you’re like, this is an anecdote. Even though we can see the data showed that our most successful employment and training program is our DTA Works program, which is an internship program that’s on-the-job learning experience. When we go to The Pathways Clearinghouse, we could see statewide what does it look like? What are the differences? What did they do? And New York versus Philadelphia or versus more rural areas, right? And you can see, okay, so they have the entity set. The had a mental health component here. And so, that has allowed us to be able to expand our program. So, we have expanded our DTA Works programs to different tracks. It initially started out as more like administrative roles, right. They would be like clerks, or secretaries, or program coordinators. Now we have tracks where it’s pharmacy techs. We have pharmacies. We have paraprofessionals. The newest one we have is actually our paraprofessional. We have health where you’re not just coming in – no more just TCA. You can come in and you can be the front end. You’re – you’re a patient access representative. And so we – we were able to get some of that information from tapping into what we – the research that we could see.
The biggest shift here, I would say, is like the pandemic is what was different. The pandemic is what was different, so many of us were learning. But Pathways Clearinghouse is access to see what they would look like nationally, not just what we know from the partners that we have direct relationships with.
Kim, returning to you now, I understand that this evidence review is part of a larger effort within OPRE to understand the contextual factors that affect labor outcomes. Could you talk a little bit about that desire to understand the context and how it relates to this specific piece of research?
Yeah. Thank you so much for that question because I – I am just so excited by this report because of the way in which it really focuses on these really important contextual factors and, you know, as you noted, one of our motivations for this work was really related to like this larger shift I think we’re kind of going through in how we frame questions about the challenges that individuals with low incomes face in the labor market. You know, those of us who study the effects of employment and training interventions, we really haven’t always thought about how larger contextual factors, like the state of the labor market, affects the outcomes that individuals experience.
You know, I think in general the field of employment and training research has really often tended to think about the interventions that provide employment and training supports as a supply issue. And what I mean by that is that it – it – a lot of times we have focused on as if the primary factor explaining why an individual is struggling in the labor market has to do with issues related to his or her own capacities like his or her own human capital. That’s what I mean when I’ talking about that is framing that as a supply issue. But more recently we’ve begun to really think about the demand side of that. So, the demand side of the labor market and how that’s a factor that affects the extent to which individuals can find it easier or harder to obtain a job. You know, for example, whether there’s a greater or lessor supply of jobs available to entry-level workers. Or even how factors like discrimination might affect who is considered more desirable for certain kinds of jobs.
At OPRE, we’re considering ways in which we can more systematically include those larger contexts into our understanding of how to best help individuals with low incomes, you know, obtain and then keep jobs. I think the pandemic’s massive effects on the economy just really made considering that larger context so obvious and even more pressing.
You know, even Tyreese’s earlier point about how many of her program participants really struggled to find available childcare during Covid, you know, that really points to even another way we can think about these contextual factors that really affect an individual’s ability to – to get or to keep a job. You know, we have lots of information that the accessibility of certain employment supports like childcare, like transportation, these are really serious barriers. They can be really serious barriers for some individuals. And we could do a lot more to kind of more systematically include those in studies. We could really think about the correlation between access to those kinds of supports and then the outcomes that individuals experience. You know, we really haven’t always been great at accounting for those contextual factors in our employment and training research, but I – I really think that’s beginning to change.
That seems like a great evolution. I’m interested to see how the incorporation of context in the research meets new insights.
I want to wrap up by asking a question that all of you can answer. As we move into future stages of the pandemic and economic recovery, what do you expect to be the pain points for job seekers with low incomes? In the future, what will programs that serve these job seekers need to be most effective?
Alex, do you want to start us off?
Sure. Thanks, J.B. I think that really is a great question. That’s the question.
My sense is that as we move into this next phase in the economic situation, the challenges and opportunities that employment services providers face will be really the perennial challenges in this field. That is, we know there are some interventions that have shown evidence of effectiveness in helping people with low incomes to connect to increased employment and earnings. But, unfortunately, not all interventions that are out there and that programs try seem to be effective. For that reason, the kind of information on The Pathways Clearinghouse, as Kim was talking about, about what has worked in the past, and where, and for what types of people, will continue to be, we hope, relevant and used in making decisions around targeting resources moving forward.
Kim, in keeping with that question, what will the job seekers need and what will the programs who serve these job seekers need going forward?
Yeah, I agree. This is a really interesting question. And I also agree with Alex that the challenges that workers face in the low-wage labor market are not easy ones. But I actually think we might need to think about things beyond pain points. You know, one of the unexpected consequences of Covid’s effect on the labor market was that it led to an increased demand for labor. And, you know, for the first time in a generation, we’ve seen some real potential for wages at the very bottom of the labor market to increase. It may have also given some workers who haven’t always had a lot of choices about what jobs to take more opportunity to consider job quality issues. And, you know, I think that we as a field are really just beginning to do more to think about these job quality issues and – and to kind of think about and assess how they affect workers’ long-term prospects. So, you know, the pandemic has just been so devastating on so many levels, but, you know, maybe one silver lining is that it really has spurred us to ask new questions about how to best help workers with lower income succeed in the labor market. And, you know, like this research report that we’ve been talking about today is just one example of the new questions we’re asking and then what we’re learning as a result.
All right, Tyreese, take us home. What do job seekers with low incomes need going forward, you know, to be most successful?
What we’re seeing as the pain points, right now, I can say is transportation and access to childcare. Pre-pandemic there were more options for transportation, especially in childcare. Now, I would say nationwide, there are staff shortages everywhere you go. Everywhere you go you see hiring, hiring, hiring. Please apply. And what we’re hearing from many of our families, and we hear it a little more now, is that things look a little bit different. And so, even if they are getting their children in childcare, the childcare center is not close enough to their home or their job. They had transportation before, they now don’t have that door-to-door transportation, right. They have to bring one child to the school – to the school bus stop at 7:30, and then they have to get on a bus, for some families on a bus, for others a bus and a train, to get their other child to childcare by 8:30, and then get to work by 9:00. It’s just not easy for them to be able to do that. And many of the childcare centers that – that had accessability to transportation services, either they no longer do, or the routes are shorter, or they don’t actually just have enough drivers. And so, we continue to hear that.
And I would say the other thing is – other than transportation and childcare, is just the flexibility. The hybrid working schedules. We are – we have families who are saying I – I would love to go to work, however like be fully remote, you know. And we’re seeing that even in – in – sometimes with our own staff, right. There, you know, we’re now, you know, required to go in one day a week. We’re going to move to two days. And some – there’s still a struggle there. And so, it’s just people getting acclimated into thinking a little bit different.
Tyreese, Kim, and Alex, thank you so much for joining me today. This has been a fantastic conversation. And we’ll include more information about The Pathways Clearinghouse and the – and the evidence review in the show notes of this episode. So, thank you so much.
Thank you, J.B. It was fun.
Yeah, thank you so much, J.B. It was great.
Thanks again to my guests, Tyreese Nicolas, Kim Clum, and Alex Stanczyk. And thank you for listening to another episode of On the Evidence, the Mathematica podcast. In our show notes, we include links to The Pathways to Work Evidence Clearinghouse and the evidence review on what works to improve employment outcomes for people with low incomes during economic recessions and recoveries.
This episode was produced by my Mathematica colleague, Rich Clement, and was made possible with support from the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A full transcript of the episode is available on the blog associated with this episode at Mathematica.org.
There are a few ways you can keep up with future episodes. You can subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Or you can follow us on Twitter. I’m @JBWogan. Mathematica is @mathematicanow.
Explore the Pathways to Work Evidence Clearinghouse.
Read the evidence review from Mathematica and OPRE on what works during economic recessions and recoveries to help workers with low incomes.