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The Connection Between Employment and Poverty Rates

At a recent event, Isabel Sawhill spoke on the connection between the unemployment rate and poverty, arguing that the best way to decrease the poverty level in the United States is to provide job opportunities for all adults.

She also detailed the impact federal policy can have on the poor, and discussed the possibility that the government will decrease discretionary spending by passing budget cuts that disproportionately impact low income families.

  • Isabel V. Sawhill is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. She served as vice president and director of the Economic Studies program from 2003 to 2006. She has been a co-director with Ron Haskins of the Center on Children and Families. Prior to joining Brookings, Dr. Sawhill was a senior fellow at The Urban Institute. She served in the Clinton Administration as an Associate Director of OMB, where her responsibilities included all of the human resource programs of the federal government, accounting for one third of the federal budget.