Posted: Jan 18, 2023

Economist I/Economist II

Salary: $115,400.00 - $137,600.00 Annually
Application Deadline: Apr 1, 2023

We are seeking an Economist to support the development and expansion of Child Trends’ growing body of research focused on child poverty. Child Trends is meeting the country’s moment by creating a new center that will produce and promote a steady supply of timely data analyses related to child and family poverty; provide state and local policymakers and advocates with customizable data on child poverty; amplify the voices of youth, young adults, parents, and communities; and mine big data and use data science methods for insights and analyses that add to our understanding of families’ and young people’s experiences of poverty and of the larger policy landscape.

This is an exciting opportunity to help shape our applied research on child poverty: applying econometric methods to add to our understanding of families’ and young people’s experiences of poverty; leading the development of microsimulations to examine projected impacts of the economy, government policies and programs, and contextual and demographic factors on child poverty and other indicators of child wellbeing; producing and promoting a steady supply of timely data analyses about child poverty issues and policies; and providing state and local policymakers and advocates with customizable data on child poverty.

We offer you a national platform to engage in and help shape our research on child poverty and other areas of strategic growth, as well as a workplace that uses teamwork to concentrate your time on your strengths. We offer enormous flexibility and have consistently won great-place-to-work awards because we know that when you achieve your mission, we achieve ours.

The ideal candidate will have deep knowledge of child poverty, strong familiarity with safety net programs for children and families, and a strong set of quantitative skills including simulations and modeling and familiarity with national data sets used to measure, track, and understand child poverty. Equity must be at the center of a candidate's approach.  

We strongly encourage individuals from populations that are historically underrepresented in research and academic fields (e.g., first-generation college graduates, historically minoritized populations, first-generation immigrants) to apply.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Support the development of microsimulations to examine projected impacts of the economy, government policies and programs, and contextual and demographic factors on child poverty and other indicators of child wellbeing.
  • Apply the tools of research, analysis, or evaluation to improve the lives of children and youth.
  • Conceptualize, design and implement research on a wide range of issues relating to how families, the economy, and social policies contribute to the economic mobility and wellbeing of America’s children and families. 
  • Write products (e.g., briefs, reports, data points, etc.) that influence policymakers, practitioners, or target audiences.
  • Presents research findings and insights to stakeholders, providing briefings and other assistance to policymakers and other public officials, and engaging with other thought leaders and influencers. 
  • Must possess a clear understanding of how historic and ongoing systemic inequality has led to disparities in access to safety net program and to the prevalence of child poverty across racial and ethnic groups, immigrant status, and other key sociodemographic characteristics. 
  • Helps building a line of work within the organization, by leading/co-leading proposals.
  • Work closely with Child Trends’ communications and policy staff to disseminate research findings to policy and programmatic communities, the media, and other researchers.
  • Select appropriate analytic techniques and develop statistical analysis plans for projects. 
  • Support Child Trends’ great-place-to-work environment.


  • A Ph.D. in Economics by Summer 2023. Ph.D. in related fields will be considered (e.g., Public Policy), but additional experience and proven record of publications in Economics journals will be expected. 
  • At least 1 - 3 years’ experience post PHD for Economist II role. 
  • Substantive knowledge of child poverty and one or more of the following substantive areas of economic well-being: public programs and income supports (e.g., EITC, SNAP, TANF, Child Tax Credit, Unemployment Insurance, Stimulus payments, Social Security Disability Insurance); food insecurity; housing insecurity and homelessness; health care access; child care and early childhood education; education and job training; employment; economic mobility; COVID-19/pandemic recession; labor market/economy; systemic and structural inequalities.
  • Expertise in designing research studies, including determining appropriate study designs and methodology. 
  • Strong quantitative skills with demonstrated expertise in econometrics methods used for causal inference, designing and executing microsimulations, and using analytic software packages such as SAS, Stata, and/or R.
  • Experience with large, nationally representative survey and administrative data, e.g., Current Population Survey (CPS), American Community Survey (ACS), Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).
  • Excellent writing skills, including the ability to clearly communicate complex information for general audiences.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to both provide and take directions.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to communicate and translate complex concepts to a broad audience.

Locations: Flexible Remote Work; Child Trends’ offices are based in Bethesda, MD; Chapel Hill, NC; Minneapolis, MN. Many Child Trends staff work remotely, and while we are set up to hire remote staff in many states, we are not yet operating everywhere in the US and do not have any overseas operations. We are currently approved to hire full-time staff in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The organization will require time to assess additional set up requirements (e.g., employment and tax law) for locations outside of areas where we are currently approved to hire. Individuals who would like to work from areas outside of the currently approved states, if offered the position should indicate this preference as early as possible in the application process.

How to Apply:

Please follow the “apply” link to submit your application. When asked by the system to upload resume, please upload one document that includes your resume, cover letter, transcripts, a writing sample and contact information for three professional references. Materials must be combined into one document in order to be uploaded. If you have any difficulties with this process please email the requested materials to recruitment(at) and make sure to reference the position in the subject line. No phone calls please!

Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center headquartered in Bethesda, MD with more than 200 staff in over 28 states that provides valuable information and insights on the well-being of children, youth, and their families. For more than 40 years, policymakers, funders, educators and service providers in the U.S. have relied on our data and analyses to make better decisions and policies on programs serving children, families, and youth.  

Child Trends is committed to hiring, retaining, and promoting staff who bring a rich diversity of experience to support our mission of improving the lives and prospects of children and youth, especially those made most vulnerable by the effects of historical and ongoing systemic discrimination. Together, we envision a world in which a child’s race, ethnicity, family income, gender, sexual orientation, disability status or any other social identity does not determine how that child will fare in life. Therefore, we approach every aspect of our work with these ideals in mind and encourage professionals who share in our commitment to apply.    

Child Trends is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Protected veterans and individuals with disability encouraged to apply.