TANF was envisioned as a runway for the poor to launch themselves out of poverty, but a troubling fraction still skid along the rock bottom of the economy.
For America's poor, the security of public benefits can outweigh the risks of a low-paying, uncertain job.
Online merchants are running into a particularly troubling quirk of international postal law.
Maybe demography - and not geography - is the key to understanding high costs of care.
A new report finds employers are requiring BAs more than ever -- and not always because it's necessary to do the job.
National gas development is big for Youngstown, but less so for workers
A case for pessimism about the divide between companies and workers.
The mystery of why people who live near fracking report more health problems.
Employers like to dodge taxes by pretending its workers are just "contractors."
The house cleaning startup Homejoy can offer better pay -- at the cost of zero protection for workers.
An anecdotal - and personal - measure of the economy's health.
The Affordable Care Act has been controversial -- but it's changing the many small health decisions that make up everyday life.
A selection of indie music from Minneapolis, Athens, Chapel Hill, and Portland.
Music geographer Michael Seman on how music can transform cities.
What research from 17th century classical musicians tells us about creative clusters.
Omaha's lesson in music as economic stimulus, as told through one up-and-coming Nebraska band.
Many would-be borrowers are 'boxed out' from loans. Lenders blame muddled regulations.
In Richmond, bad luck and bad choices collide with bad policy.
This owner of a sports grill chain thinks so.
A guide to separating the data from the generational cliche.
A sour economy is locking America's most dynamic generation of workers into less-than-ideal jobs.
What low today's job churn tells us about the economy.
What U.S. policymakers got right on the job front.
The head of the CDC says the 'window of opportunity' to contain Ebola is closing.
In Sierra Leone, authorities are scrambling to contain the Ebola outbreak, and using some surprisingly simple tools.
Not every city supports the unemployed in the same way. What's working in your town?
What unemployment support is available in your city?
Patricia Brown, seated second from right, struggles with a computer assessment program at the Center for Workforce Innovation in Richmond. Helping her is Sherrilyn Hicks, a CWI worker seated first from the right. The CWI is a city effort designed to match people with jobs in the Richmond area. Approaching from the rear of the room is the program director, Jamison Manion. (Timothy C. Wright/For the Washington Post)
Tina Griego today tells the story of Richmond, Virginia’s broad, ambitious plan to combat poverty — a program that will include everything from job training, to housing policy, to a direct admission of the city’s segregationist past.
This particularly sweeping and holistic approach to poverty and unemployment is rare. Millions of unemployed have faced uncertain benefits and a number of local and Federal cuts. And as Jeff Guo reports today, America spends far less on labor policies than many of its international peers.
So what services are available for the unemployed in your city? Let us know in the form below.
Can the city of Richmond fix problems hundreds of years in the making?
The evidence is in: worker training programs lead to higher wages.
Health-care sharing gives some Americans a faith-based support system -- as long they pledge to refrain from sin.
A look at the culture of guns in Nucla, Colorado, where the nearest stop light is two hours away.
Photos from a small town that passed a law requiring a gun in every household.
Hours after the merger announcement, Twitter rose up to say: Don't mess with my coffee.
The coal economy in Central Appalachia is in an unprecedented freefall. Which isn't making it easier for workers to move on.
Is coal country suffering from what economists call the 'resource curse'?
A photo gallery of one West Virginia family's struggle to find work as the coal industry shrinks.
How kids' livestock shows have become a cutthroat - and competitive - business.
Inside the world of competitive pig shows.
A look back at how the WashPost covered the county fair.
As young people flee the Heartland, it's getting harder and harder to find a lawyer in rural America.
The younger your neighbors, the healthier your town
What it's like to work as a lawyer in sparsely-populated towns.
It's not clear that just adding minorities makes a police force more empathetic.
Economists forgot that government response to a disaster can be a stimulus.
Workers in one California town have become collateral damage in the push for globalization.
Where jobs could be at risk because of increased global competition.
Workers in the town of Fremont, California are slowly picking up the pieces.
The city's police chief on policing Latinos, the “swagger years,” and why he loves his MRAP.
'I didn't want to be another statistic': Stories from readers on teen pregnancy
What you need to know about the $17 billion hospice industry.
'I am an example of how you can turn an unplanned pregnancy into a wonderful part of your life.'
The hospice industry is booming, but concerns are rising about treatments for patients who aren't near death.
Wonkblog has a rundown of the uneven drop in teen births.
The lessons and stories from Colorado's surprisingly effective approach.
Why we should treat teen pregnancy as more than just a medical event.
It's hard to put a number on it, but over the long run they justify the cost.
Because supply and demand aren't that simple.
'We have far too many reminders that race still matters'
In remote villages, a doctor can be a long journey away.
More than 100,000 Alaskans identify as Native or American Indian. Barely 100 have insurance through the ACA.
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