The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Donahue Institute

A program of the Economic and Public Policy Research Group at the UMass Donahue Institute
in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

MassBenchmarks Journal

2020 volume 22 issue 1


Saving Summer Jobs: How Summer Youth Employment Programs Improve Youth Outcomes during COVID-19
Alicia Sasser Modestino
Recent research demonstrates that summer youth employment programs develop skills and behaviors among youth that lead to better long-term academic, criminal justice, and employment outcomes. Still, the economic disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic has placed these programs at risk at the exact moment when youth unemployment has skyrocketed. Following assessment of alternative scenarios, the City of Boston has invested in several innovative programs.

Kids Today: Boston's Declining Child Population and Its Effect on School Enrollment
Peter Ciurczak, Antoniya Marinova and Luc Schuster
Boston's sharp decline in middle-income families with children (many who move to the suburbs) has moved in lockstep with increasing numbers of students of color in segregated Boston schools. That trend is counterproductive, given growing evidence that students of all backgrounds who attend diverse schools have better academic, social, and economic outcomes.

Economic Currents: Uncertainty in the Face of COVID-19?
Robert Nakosteen
Following the outbreak COVID-19, the Massachusetts unemployment rate, in an instant, soared from historically low levels to rates of more than 15 percent. The service sector—largely face-to face establishments—has accounted for the largest number of newly unemployed. In reopening the economy, two simulations reveal the tradeoff between economic prosperity and the health of the state’s population.

Notes from the Board
Board members discussed the unprecedented human and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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