Black and Latinx workers and families face inequities in the labor market in the form of higher unemployment and lower wages and incomes. Concurrently, structural changes in the labor market have caused low-wage jobs to proliferate, creating greater economic uncertainty. Although the US’s social safety net has become more contingent on work participation, these programs have nonetheless played an important role in stabilizing families unable to make ends meet through work alone.
Research shows cash and near-cash assistance programs reduce poverty and inequality, but little is known about how they support program participants’ employment, work hours, and other labor market outcomes. Public policy scholars Bradley Hardy and James Ziliak seek to address this knowledge gap by analyzing multiple public datasets that link participants in major safety net programs—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Earned Income Tax Credit Program—with wage, earnings, and employment data and disaggregating results by gender, race, and ethnicity. Their results will inform policies to boost the employment, earnings, and economic well-being of workers of color and their families.
The EITC and Racial Income Inequality