Subsidized Jobs: An Effective Solution to Build an Equitable, Lasting Recovery

By Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Melissa Young

Federal subsidized employment (SE) programs are a proven solution to help workers and employers recover from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. By temporarily underwriting employee wages with federal funds, SE programs are effective in getting people jobs—putting money into workers’ pockets, helping businesses stay afloat, and supporting local economies. Successfully used to rebound from past recessions, this policy solution drives economic growth and enables families with low incomes to gain financial security. When appropriately targeted, SE programs can place more workers and families on a path to economic opportunity by reducing racial, economic, and gender disparities.

As federal policymakers develop legislation under the American Jobs Plan, they must build a subsidized jobs program grounded in equity so it can fully support workers, employers, and families who confront the steepest barriers to employment and economic opportunity.

This brief offers Congress and the administration recommendations to design and implement a federal subsidized employment program that can effectively put people to work, move racial and economic justice forward, and ensure an equitable, lasting economic recovery for all of us.  It is grounded in the lessons learned from previous subsidized jobs programs.

Read the full brief here.