Clear all

4 results found

reorder grid_view

"Finally, We're Being Recognized": Stories and Perspectives from Applicants to the Excluded Workers Fund

March 17, 2022

Although expanded unemployment insurance played a large role in decreasing the number of people living in poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic, millions—most notably undocumented workers—were excluded from these benefits. The New York State Excluded Workers Fund (EWF) is the most notable example of legislation to address this gap. Passed in April 2021, the EWF approved 130,000 excluded workers to receive financial support that roughly equaled the average total amount unemployed workers eligible for unemployment compensation received, approximately $15,600 per person. To understand the experiences of workers who applied for EWF and of those that did not receive the fund, we conducted 15 interviews with workers in English, Spanish, Bangla, and Korean and 9 interviews with staff from community-based organizations serving various populations in New York and providing crucial application assistance.We found that those who received the fund were able to use it to make ends meet during a period of severe job loss bypaying back rent and other bills;repaying debt incurred during the pandemic;stabilizing or improving their housing conditions;paying for basic needs like food;investing in their children and education;taking care of their health and paying for medical expenses;stabilizing and expanding employment opportunities; andcreating local economic stimulus.We also found that the EWF had a significant impact on excluded worker recognition and their sense of power and dignity that comes from being treated as a valued member of society. We found that workers who applied but did not receive the fund because of difficulties providing the required documentation faced continuing stress around unstable income, debt burden, and other dire circumstances.Overall, New York State Department of Labor quickly and effectively adopted the EWF, but ultimately the fund ran out of money more quickly than anticipated. Although the fund was a high-impact intervention for those who benefitted, it has not provided solutions to the ongoing instability that accompanies a lack of lawful permanent status in the US.

Three Ways Immigration Reform Would Make the Economy More Productive

May 30, 2013

One of the most hotly contested aspects of immigration reform is the proposal to give legal status to undocumented immigrants. Done properly, however, this should be a clear gain to productivity for the American economy, and for the economy of New York State.The key to achieving these productivity gains is dramatically reducing the number of undocumented immigrants. Legalization by itself will not be enough. In addition, there must be enforcement that prevents people from working without authorization, and legal channels for future immigration. This paper assumes that legalization would be accompanied by measures of this kind.

Immigrant Small Business Owners: A Significant and Growing Part of the Economy

June 1, 2012

Immigrant entrepreneurship is widely recognized as an important aspect of the economic role immigrants play. Surprisingly, until now, there has been relatively little basic information available about the number and characteristics of immigrant small business owners.This report breaks new ground in identifying small immigrant businesses and immigrant small business owners. It gives a detailed profile of who immigrant business owners are, based primarily on two data sources: the Survey of Business Owners (SBO), looking at businesses with between 1 and 99 employees; and the American Community Survey (ACS), looking at people who own an incorporated business and whose main job is running that business.

Working for a Better Life: A Profile of Immigrants in the New York State Economy

November 1, 2007

Analyzes immigrants' economic contributions in New York City, the downstate suburbs, upstate New York, and the state as a whole.