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Federal Social Safety Net Programs and the Millions that Rely on Them

Thursday, November 19, 2020

In February--just before the COVID-19 crisis hit the U.S.--the Department of Labor reported that employment was at the highest levels in 50 years. However, in that same month, millions of workers relied on federal social safety net programs to help pay for basic needs--including health care and food assistance. With increases in unemployment and underemployment because of the pandemic, more workers will likely need federal assistance to help make ends meet. We talk to Cindy Brown Barnes--an expert on employment issues, and the Managing Director of our Education, Workforce and Income Security Team--about a new report that looks at the employment characteristics of wage-earning adults enrolled in Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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