Toward a More Inclusive Labor Market and Stronger Economy

Abstract: It is now clear that the adverse effects of the pandemic have not been evenly distributed and there are wide disparities in the recovery across business sectors, geographic areas of the country, and demographic groups. The burdens of the pandemic have been borne by many of the most vulnerable in our economy: lower-income and minority workers and communities; those who do not have the opportunity to work from home; those who don’t have access to reliable telecommunications and internet services or to adequate healthcare; and the smallest of small businesses. Since last spring, Blacks and Hispanics have been faring less well in the job market than whites, and those without a bachelor’s degree have made less progress than those with a bachelor’s degree. Rehiring by employers has been considerably slower for low-wage workers than for high-wage workers, whose employment level has now returned to its pre-pandemic level. Among workers in the prime working ages of 25 to 54, the labor force participation rate of women has recovered less than that of men, because the need to provide childcare for pre-school children or those being schooled remotely is disproportionately affecting women’s ability to remain in the workforce or work their usual number of hours.

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Part of Series: Speech

Publication Date: 2021-02-02

Note: Remarks for the Session “The Future of Work and Alternative Work Arrangements” - Organized by Community Development Staff at the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Video available - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-dxSrjqtn0