ISSUE 252 | April 11, 2024

The Institute is an economic research and applied research and consulting group that provides customized client solutions and strategies to facilitate decision making and planning that enhances growth, impact, and sustainability for organizations.

From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Lackawanna County Trail Boosts Local and State Economy

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Association has shared the results of its economic impact analysis.

The Lackawanna County trail has generated $144 million for the state’s outdoor economy.

Going forward, Lackawanna County is looking to expand safety measures on the trail following increasing demand. 

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A SEPTA Bus Revolution Analysis Showed Little Impact on Philadelphians

An independent study of SEPTA’s bus network overhaul showed the number of jobs riders could access within 45 minutes.

It also charted the average travel times to hospitals, supermarkets, and other community landmarks for riders.

The study highlighted critics’ concerns over the travel inequalities between the cities ethnic and racial groups. 

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Philly Sees Drop in Poverty, Violent Crime, but Deep-Seated Issues Remain, Pew Report Says

Pew Research has released a 2024 City Report on Philadelphia which showcases improvements in economic areas but exposes lasting issues that may threaten ongoing progress.

In 2023, Philadelphia experienced a decades-high record in the number of jobs in the city, as well as the lowest unemployment rate in years.

However, racial inequalities and drug overdoes remain high across the city. 

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

7 Facts about Americans and Taxes

This season, the IRS will process approximately 160 million tax returns.

Fifty-six percent of Americans say that they pay more than what is fair in taxes, especially compared to corporations and the wealthy.

Pew Research discusses more data on Americans’ view of the federal tax system and the IRS. 


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White-Sounding Names Get Called for Jobs More Than Black Ones, Study Finds

Researchers from Berkley and the University of Chicago have recently expanded on the Watershed study, a measurement of racial bias through controlled job applications.

The new study found that employers followed up with presumably white applicants nine percent more than black applicants on average, with some companies reaching a difference upwards of 20 percent.

The study names the 97 companies included in the experiment and rates them based on their level of bias. 

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Affording a US Home Takes More Than $100,000 in Income, Studies Show


A recent series of studies shows that Americans need to earn more than $100,000 annually to afford a home in the US.

This is a significant increase over the last few years, as recent rent and mortgage spikes have outpaced wage gains across the nation.

According to a Zillow study, the only three major metro areas in the United States where residents can afford a home making median income are Detroit, Pittsburg, and St. Louis. 

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