Improving Work Supports: Using the Family Resource Simulator to Identify Problems and Test Solutions
Publication Date: March 2008
Series: Vol. 41 No. 11-12
Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Keywords: Labor; State Government; Workforce; Low-Income Workers
Coverage: United States
Work support programs, such as tax credits and child care subsidies, help low-income workers enter and remain in the labor market. However, too often these programs are implemented haphazardly by states rather than as part of a comprehensive workforce strategy. Eligibility "cliffs" that result when a marginal increase in earnings leads to an even greater loss in work support benefits can cause a family's total resources to drop precipitously. A new Web-based tool, the Family Resource Simulator, can be used to calculate the impact of work-support policies on families' resources.