June 25, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
CARES Act Unemployment Provisions Should Be Extended While Need Remains

Thanks to the CARES Act that was passed in March, last week more than 76,000 unemployed West Virginian workers claimed unemployment benefits that were more generous than those they normally would have received, while thousands more were able to receive benefits who otherwise would have received no benefits at all. However, if Congress does not…

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June 22, 2020 by Quenton King
Exploring Police Spending in West Virginia

This post is co-authored by Bryan Phillips, Summer Research Associate The slogan “defund the police,” acknowledges an emerging sentiment that state and local governments have spent and are currently spending too much on law enforcement and not enough on social services, mental health, housing, and education. Research suggests that spending on these and other upstream factors can lessen inequality within communities and reduce…

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June 12, 2020 by WVCBP
Drastic Drop in Arrests During COVID-19 Crisis

This post is authored by Ryan Brij Stewart, the WVCBP's 2020 Summer Research Associate with the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium in Poverty. He studies Government and Philosophy at Hamilton College. With the emergence of COVID-19 over the past several months, various systems of criminal justice in West Virginia have been forced to adjust their practices…

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June 10, 2020 by Seth DiStefano
COVID-19 Outbreaks in Prisons and Jails Threaten the Health of Rural Communities

The recent COVID-19 outbreak at Huttonsville Correctional Center shines a light on why universal and periodic testing of incarcerated individuals and staff at correctional facilities combined with policies to reduce incarceration are so important to protect the health of rural communities during a pandemic. Lack of adequate COVID-19 testing within correctional facilities caught up with…

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June 8, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
Women, Minorities, and Young Workers Most Affected by Recent Job Losses

According to WorkForce West Virginia, West Virginia lost 90,100 jobs in April, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it rocked the state's economy. Since the end of March, 157,807 West Virginians have filed for unemployment insurance. This week, the Department of Labor released data on the characteristics of those who filed unemployment claims…

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June 4, 2020 by Kelly Allen
West Virginia’s Already Limited Child Care Capacity is at Risk

For all the talk of West Virginia’s comeback, the reality for families is still incredibly challenging. Parents can’t go back to work if they don’t have a safe place for their kids to go for child care. The success of our comeback will depend in part on mitigating the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis…

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June 2, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
The CARES Act is Keeping the Economy Afloat, But for How Long?

April was one of the ugliest months for jobs and the economy in history, both nationally and here in West Virginia. The national unemployment rate increased by 10.3 percentage points, with all 50 states experiencing an increase. West Virginia's unemployment rate rose to 15.3%, while the state lost over 90,000 jobs. Yet despite the fact…

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May 28, 2020 by Kelly Allen
Women Bear Brunt of Job and Care Costs Amid COVID-19

While COVID-19 is having wide-ranging impacts on every corner of our society, no one is more impacted by this crisis than women, particularly women of color. Women dominate the industries most affected by the pandemic, including making up two-thirds of frontline workers in West Virginia and the majority of employees in industries who’ve seen job…

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May 20, 2020 by Kelly Allen,
COVID-Related Health Coverage Losses Continue to Mount

A few weeks ago we began raising alarms about the likelihood of a sharp increase in the number of uninsured West Virginians. Over the past eight weeks, 143,000 West Virginians have filed unemployment claims due to job loss and, as we know, most working Americans get their health coverage through their employer. That means that…

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May 19, 2020 by Seth DiStefano
COVID-19 Testing Not Keeping Up with New Incarceration in WV Regional Jails

West Virginia’s regional jails, like correctional facilities around the country, are at greater risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing in a prison setting is not possible. West Virginia’s regional jails see a daily flow of staff and newly incarcerated persons in and out of facilities that operate at the edges of being overcrowded. Combined…

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