Tim Bartik proposes block grant to help distressed communities recover from recession and create jobs

Cover of Bartik Brookings proposal on distressed communities

Sept. 23, 2020

Distressed communities—those where the prime-age employment rate is significantly below the national average—already lacked sufficient jobs before the COVID-19 recession. Without help, they could fall farther behind, even as the rest of the nation recovers.

In a new proposal, Upjohn Institute Senior Economist Timothy J. Bartik considers a flexible federal block-grant program to create jobs in distressed communities and help their residents access the jobs.

The program would fund economic development and employment services­, including business advice for smaller businesses, land development, infrastructure, job training, better information for residents on job opportunities, and support programs to improve job retention.

The full proposal is available at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, and draws on Bartik's research on economic development in distressed areas.

Date: September 23, 2020