Bridging the Gap

This ongoing project examines the intersection of child care with workforce development and postsecondary education systems, policies, and practices, and the implications for low-income, low-skilled parents seeking education and training.

Career and Technical Education CoLab

This project page includes information on the Career and Technical Education (CTE) CoLab, a collaboration that aims to address inequities in educational outcomes for students of color in credit-bearing online postsecondary CTE programs through a research-informed community of practice and the development of tools and knowledge for the field.

CCDF Policies Database

A comprehensive, up-to-date database of Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) subsidy policies for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US territories and outlying areas.

Cities of LRNG

Cities of LRNG aims to address the opportunity gap for low-income youth and youth of color in cities by supporting expanded access to out-of-school learning opportunities, using digital badges to recognize and connect the learning that occurs in and out of school, and building connections across local learning ecosystems to open up college and career pathways for disadvantaged young people.

Expanding the EITC for Workers without Resident Children

The federal earned income tax credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit that provides substantial cash benefits to low-income working families with children. Working adults without children at home— including noncustodial parents, who are considered “childless” for tax purposes—also face economic challenges but receive few EITC benefits. These 50-state fact sheets and accompanying brief explore what would happen if the EITC for childless adults was expanded significantly. Through both national and state-level estimates, we show the number of workers who would become newly eligible for the EITC and the increase in EITC benefits for both currently and newly eligible workers.

Financing Long-Term Services and Supports

The costs of long-term care are one of the most significant financial risks confronting older Americans. This project evaluates policy options to help pay for home care, nursing home stays, assisted living, and other long-term services and supports.

From Safety Net to Solid Ground

From Safety Net to Solid Ground offers local, state, and federal policymakers, advocates, practitioners, and philanthropic leaders several resources, including timely, rigorous analyses of potential changes to federal safety net programs. The initiative provides insights into how states manage change and employ administrative flexibility, evidence on how policy changes are implemented in communities, and an assessment of Americans' health and wellbeing.

Net Income Change Calculator

The Net Income Change Calculator (NICC) calculates a family's net income at 5 different earnings levels. The user specifies the starting earnings level and how much the earnings should change. The user also specifies all other key characteristics of the family. NICC applies the tax and transfer rules used in each program and each state and displays the results in both tabular and graphical form.

New Skills at Work Assessment

New Skills at Work is a $250 million multiyear workforce development initiative that aims to expand and replicate effective approaches for linking education and training efforts with the skills and competencies employers need. 

Program on Retirement Policy 

A research initiative assessing how current retirement policies, demographic trends, and private-sector practices influence older Americans' security and decisionmaking.

Public Pension Project

This project examines the cost and financing of retirement plans provided to government employees, assesses their impact on retirement security and employee recruitment and retention, and evaluates reform options.

Safety Net Almanac

The Almanac summarizes eight major safety net programs and their legislative histories, alongside interactive graphics that illustrate who is receiving help and what the costs are for states and the federal government.

Social Genome Model

A life-cycle microsimulation model, developed in collaboration with the Brookings Institution and Child Trends, the Social Genome Model explores what determines success in each life stage to figure out how social programs can improve long-term outcomes.

Social Security for Tomorrow’s Workforce

Social Security’s challenges are widely acknowledged, and pressure for reform is growing. But critical gaps remain in the analysis of challenges and opportunities for policy options to achieve comprehensive reform. These gaps could stall reform efforts and result in missed opportunities to update program rules to reflect the latest trends in life expectancy, disability patterns, and income inequality.

Through Social Security for Today’s Workforce, the Urban Institute will build an evidence base to inform efforts to reform Social Security’s critical programs. Researchers will investigate Social Security’s current and future challenges to develop policy recommendations for decisionmakers.

Transfer Income Model

This microsimulation model estimates eligibility for and participation in government benefit programs. It can also be used to estimate the potential effects of alternative policies.

Understanding the Consequences of Current Immigration Policy

The Trump administration has proposed sweeping changes to federal immigration policy, including a proposal that would penalize immigrant families for participating in safety net programs. Advocates, policymakers, service providers, and the research community are concerned that current immigration policy could lead immigrant families to forgo assistance that helps them meet their basic needs and to disengage with critical public services.

Urban Institute researchers are investigating the short- and long-term consequences of evolving immigration policy on the well-being of immigrant families and the communities where they live.

Understanding Trends in Manufacturing Employment

This research presents evidence on employment and productivity trends in the manufacturing sector, trade’s impact on manufacturing jobs, and the employment trajectories of men without a four-year degree.

Welfare Rules Database

A comprehensive, up-to-date resource on cash assistance program rules. The database allows researchers to compare programs between states and look up rule changes over time within a state. Annual Databooks summarize the findings.

What If We Expanded Child Care Subsidies?

Child care subsidies from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) can help low-income families with children younger than 13 (or older children with special needs) pay for child care, yet CCDF’s funding is only sufficient to provide subsidies to a fraction of eligible families. But what if the child care system were funded so that more eligible families could participate? 

We explore how many additional children would be served, nationally and in each state, as well as the effects on maternal employment and child poverty if child care subsidies were significantly expanded. Using the Urban Institute’s Analysis of Transfers, Taxes, and Income Security microsimulation model with 2016 American Community Survey data, we modeled an expansion of child care subsidies so that all families with incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines who met their state’s other eligibility criteria and wanted a subsidy received one. 

WIC Analysis and Modeling Project

Under this multiyear project, IBP researchers develop annual estimates of eligibility and program take-up for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). These estimates are used by both national and state program administrators.

Work Requirements in Safety Net Programs

In April 2018, the administration released an executive order calling for federal agencies to add or strengthen work requirements for federal aid programs such as Medicaid, cash assistance, and nutrition assistance. For Medicaid, work requirements are a major policy shift for the 50-year-old health insurance program. Many other programs, like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, already mandate work. What we already know about existing work requirements can inform states and agencies as they respond to this policy change. We will be exploring lessons from research about work requirements, estimating who could be affected by these policy changes, and studying implementation and impacts.

Youth in Our Workforce

Youth employment rates remain very low relative to their highs in the 1970s and 1980s, which is concerning given the importance of early work experience for a variety of long-term economic, academic, and health-related outcomes. This work explores disparities in work participation and employment outcomes and the role of summer youth employment programs as an intervention strategy for increasing youth employment.