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NYS Unemployment Factsheet for April

New York State’s April 2020 unemployment rate stood at 14.5 percent – up from 4.1 percent in March -and was the state’s largest recorded monthly increase since 1976 when the current record-keeping began. In the seven weeks between March 10 and April 25, 2020, New York State processed over 1.5 million initial unemployment insurance claims from residents, which represents more people than the entire population of the state of Maine. Look for more monthly factsheets covering unemployment in New York … (read more)

In Solidarity

The Fiscal Policy Institute stands in solidarity with protesters voicing outrage over the recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the long history of violent abuse and killing of Black people at the hands of police in city after city, town after town, year after year.

Black lives matter. Yet the history of racism built into our society actively harms Black people. We must do better for our state and our nation.

In our research at the Fiscal … (read more)

Refugee Resettlement Agencies Are Providing Essential Services During COVID-19

Now more than ever, refugee resettlement agencies are providing essential services to refugees and also to a number of other community members, to help protect everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, the Fiscal Policy Institute showed how refugee resettlement agencies are anchor institutions in their communities, providing services for some of the most vulnerable community members, jobs for local residents, and a productive use for buildings that in some cases might otherwise be vacant. The importance … (read more)

1.2 Million New Yorkers Excluded from the CARES Act

 

Undocumented immigrants are being affected by COVID-19 like all other New Yorkers, but unlike others they are being systematically excluded from federal economic assistance programs.

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included financial support for many families and businesses through this difficult period. But, despite the efforts of some members of Congress, the CARES Act very specifically excluded undocumented immigrants, and in some cases as collateral damage they excluded the children and spouses of … (read more)

Strengthen Medicaid and Protect Health Coverage for New Yorkers

May 20, 2020

This time last year, New York celebrated its lowest rate of residents without health insurance to date at 5 percent. A historic low that is a continuation of nearly a decade of decline in people who lack health insurance, this record-breaking success set New York apart from the national trend of rising uninsured rates.

The public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic threatens past success in reducing the rate of the uninsured in New … (read more)

Unemployment Insurance Taxes Paid for Undocumented Workers in NYS

May 14, 2020

In the midst of a pandemic, there has been a growing call for undocumented immigrants, who make up five percent of the New York State labor force, to be covered by some form of unemployment insurance. What is often overlooked in discussions of unemployment insurance is the extent to which undocumented immigrants are already part of paying into the existing system, even when they are excluded from collecting benefits.

Undocumented immigrants face the same challenges as other … (read more)

New York’s Unemployment System Depends on Continued Federal Assistance

May 11, 2020

Following the Great Recession, New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund only achieved a positive fund balance for the first time in fiscal year 2016. On January 1, 2020, the balance stood at $2.65 billion, but the fund was nearing insolvency according to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic mitigation began eight weeks ago, over 1.7 million New York residents have filed for unemployment, which is roughly 5 percent of the nation’s … (read more)

New York Can Do More for All New Yorkers, Regardless of Immigration Status, Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020.

In response to the economic and health hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has created for individuals and families, state and federal governments have created relief programs to provide financial, safety and medical assistance. However, these relief programs do not apply to everyone. Many programs exclude undocumented immigrants who have also been laid off from jobs due to nonessential business closures. Undocumented immigrants are also experiencing the same financial and health hardships that the rest of us experience, … (read more)

Undocumented and Unemployed

Orders for non-essential workers to stay at home and the ripple effects of the coronavirus have been felt throughout the New York economy. Over one million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment insurance since the middle of March when the coronavirus impact was first felt.

Yet, one group is left behind by both the state’s existing unemployment insurance system and the federal government’s temporary enhancements to that system: undocumented immigrants. There are an estimated 530,000 undocumented immigrants in the New … (read more)

Fines and Fees: Raising Revenue at the Community’s Expense

As New York State looks toward restarting the economy in the wake of COVID-19, a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) warns local governments not to rush to build revenue through the use of fines and fees – a long-standing, inequitable source of funding primarily drawn from low-income communities and communities of color.

Between 2010 and 2017, 31 city governments, out of 62, in New York State reported an increase in expected fine revenue in their annual budgets, … (read more)