The overriding purpose for the Economic Roundtable’s work is to improve the lives of individuals. In addition to studies carried out to improve economic and environmental conditions that are crucial for individual well-being, much of the Roundtable’s work directly addresses social inclusion, equity and a decent quality of life for individuals. Examples of work that is underway include:
- Public Costs of Homelessness: The Roundtable’s analyses of public costs for homelessness have led to development of screening tools for identifying individuals with acute needs and very high public costs, and to programs for moving these individuals directly from hospitals into permanently affordable housing with supportive services.
- Linking Public Records: Cross-sector linkage of public records opens multiple windows for a more complete understanding individuals’ needs. This may include linking health, justice system, public assistance, child welfare, education and employment records.
- Social Safety Net: The Roundtable analyzes the efficacy of social safety net programs in raising earnings and workforce participation, identifying needs of vulnerable individuals, and helping families rise out of poverty. The most recent work has analyzed paths into chronic homelessness among nearly a million public assistance recipients who experienced homeless episodes.
- Social Indicators: The Economic Roundtable conducts detailed assessments of community conditions and needs. Social indicators produced by the Roundtable include unemployment and under-employment by labor force subgroup, maternal economic resources, housing security, mobility resources, linguistic and social inclusion, civic engagement, educational attainment, school performance, family intactness, neighborhood stability, health care financing, prenatal care, neonatal health outcomes, and access to green space.
- Labor Market Information: Labor market information serves as a road map to the world of work. The Roundtable analyzes the skills of the workforce and the skills demanded by emerging occupations, pointing to the types of worker training needed to bridge the two.
- Precarious Workers: The Roundtable has conducted a series of studies of the informal economy, that is, of workers carrying out legal activities for employers who do not comply with labor or tax laws and provide substandard employment to workers who often are economically desperate. The most recent work has investigated the construction industry and street vending.
- Housing: The Roundtable tracks a range of housing availability and affordability factors – rent burden, overcrowding, affordable housing inventory and production, affordable housing deficits resulting from different types of industry development, rent stabilized inventory and attrition, financial outcomes for owners of rental property, evictions, foreclosures, and change in the housing price index.