Newark Movement for Economic Equity (NMEE)

The Newark Movement for Economic Equity (NMEE) was launched in 2021 by Mayor Ras Baraka.

400

participants

$500

monthly payment

2 Years

duration

$4,800,000

invested in community

logo
Pilot Features  
Number of Participants400 individuals
Amount$500
FrequencyCohort 1: $500 2x monthly; Cohort 2: $3,000 2x annually
Program DatesOctober 2021-September 2023
Eligibility18 years old and above, reside in Newark, income below 200% of the federal poverty line, and impacted by COVID-19

About the Newark Movement for Economic Equity (NMEE)

The Newark Movement for Economic Equity (NMEE) layers guaranteed income over Mayor Baraka’s existing equitable growth strategies and wraparound services provided by various nonprofit organizations. NMEE is one of a number of initiatives established by the Mayor to address the economic insecurity faced by Newark’s residents, and also serves as one component of his comprehensive equitable development strategy for Newark. In a city where one in three residents live below the federal poverty line, the pilot program provides a critical source of financial support. A unique feature of NMEE is the frequency at which individuals will receive disbursements: $6,000 per year for two years, with 50 percent receiving the payments on a bi-weekly basis and 50 percent receiving the payments twice yearly. This approach, along with Newark’s focus on housing insecure individuals and unique approach to selecting recipients, will add significantly to the national body of research on how best to structure an unconditional cash policy on the state and federal level. NMEE worked closely with more than 30 nonprofits and municipal departments on outreach to residents. Those who qualified were randomly selected.

Data last updated on 7/11/2024.

Demographic Data for Study Participants

Median Annual Household income

NMEE

$8,749

Newark, NJ

$49,688

Annual Household Income (Mean)

$8,776

Sample Size

400

Avg. Age of Respondent

NA

Avg. Children in Household

2

Avg. Household Size

3

gender

Male

21.75%

Female

77.75%

Other

0.50%

marital status

Married

11.00%

Single

82.25%

Partnered/In-Relationship

6.75%

children in household

Yes

66.25%

No

33.75%

race

White

6.25%

African American

80.25%

American Indian/Alaska Native

3.25%

Asian

0.75%

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

1.00%

Latino

5.00%

Other/Mixed

8.50%

ethnicity

Hispanic

18.50%

Non-Hispanic

81.50%

primary language at home

English

92.50%

Spanish

4.50%

Other

2.50%

Economic Context for Pilot Participants

The guaranteed income pilot launched during a period of dynamic change and economic challenges for pilot participants. The chart below situates this pilot in the context of unemployment and inflation.

Start of Covid-19 PandemicJan 2019MarMayJulSepNovJan 2020MarMayJulSepNovJan 2021MarMayJulSepNovJan 2022MarMayJulSepNovJan 2023MarMayJulSepNovJan 2024MarMayJulSepNovJan 2025MarMayJulSepNovJan 202602468101214161820Unemployment02468101214161820Inflation
Unemployment  
Inflation  
Pilot Timeline
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Spending Breakdown

The data in this pie chart shows aggregate spending for guaranteed income participants in Newark, NJ. This includes all non-cash expenditures from the participants' pre-paid debit card that is loaded with guaranteed income payments cohort 1: $500 2x monthly; cohort 2: $3,000 2x annually.

Spending breakdown

Retail sales and services accounted for the largest share of spending, at 41%, followed by Food and groceries (26.52%) and Housing & Utilities (11.12%).

Shamonique

"What I thought was going to be the coldest winter ever turned out to be one of the best. The Guaranteed Income program helped me pay off all of my preexisting debt, buy my four kids new uniforms, winter clothes and boots."

Shamonique

Newark Movement for Economic Equity (NMEE)

Newark, NJ

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