Even with a COVID-19 vaccine on the way, a full recovery in the United States from the pandemic’s economic devastation will undoubtedly take time. But, says Alicia Sasser Modestino, an economist and associate professor at Northeastern, certain measures can be taken now to position the country for a faster and stronger rebound.
According to the latest jobs report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an additional 385,000 people became long-term unemployed in November as rising coronavirus cases forced renewed lockdowns across the nation. That figure brings the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, representing 3.9 million people who are out of work.
ncreased federal stimulus, via payroll protection program loans for small businesses, extended unemployment insurance benefits for the long-term unemployed, and childcare subsidies for working parents, will be essential to reviving economic growth in the next six months, says Modestino, an associate professor of public policy and urban affairs as well as economics at Northeastern.
Congress is currently debating a $908 billion measure to provide an economic lifeline to small businesses and the unemployed, but no deal has been struck yet. Lawmakers are racing to finish before adjourning later this month.