It is clear that the depth of the economic and workforce damage for COVID-19 is greater than during the Great Recession, which had an uneven and gradual recovery, the authors say. During the entire period of that previous recession, Blacks and Latinos experienced higher unemployment rates than white Americans, a pattern similar to today.
Van Horn and Oates noted that the country should avoid the mistakes made in the last recovery, and focus on more equitable outcomes this time around. Meeting policy and programmatic concerns will be critical to achieving a robust and equitable recovery, the authors maintain. Some of the most important include:
- Strengthening education and training programs;
- Creating public service jobs;
- Meeting mental health needs;
- Expanding broadband service;
- Assisting older workers and the long-term unemployed;
- Helping recent high school and college graduates; and,
- Supporting postsecondary education.
- Expedite American worker’s return to employment and upward mobility by investing in career pathways and implementing skills-based hiring practices;
- Remove obstacles to the modernization of American education and training to accelerate reskilling and facilitate innovation in workforce development; and,
- Build the technological infrastructure necessary for the future of work.