Economic Problems Facing The Us – The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the US economy, and the labor market seems slow to “get back to normal”. St. Joseph’s expert Dr. Laura Crispin and Dr. Eric Patton were able to discuss some of the major issues facing the US economy and how employers can start working in the country this fall.
The CoVID-19 pandemic has upended the general order the world once knew, and as vaccination rates rise and the population struggles with delta strain, the labor market is taking time to “get back to normal” in the US. The unemployment rate is rising. 5. %
Economic Problems Facing The Us
The reality is that the United States is still in the midst of a pandemic that could change the way we work forever. As the story unfolded, San Jose faculty experts, Dr. Laura Crispin, associate professor of economics, and Dr. Eric Patton, associate professor of management, were able to identify some of the largest US economies. Faces and how employers can start working in the country this fall.
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Job losses have dominated the US economy since last spring. Employers have lost scores of workers who were forced to retire at the start of the pandemic, and hundreds of thousands more have been laid off when employers closed their doors.
“Some of these workers have been laid off from their second or third jobs. The pandemic has given them the opportunity to assess the risk they face in those positions and figure out how to survive without those wages,” said Patton. “Perhaps they decided to protect their grandchildren or cut something else because of the loss of money.”
In return, big retailers like Amazon and Walmart offer signing bonuses and other financial perks, virtually nullifying the ability of any Main Street company to attract workers.
“Employers need to rethink their pay structure,” urges Crispin. “Workers can work at Target for $11 an hour or daycare for $11 an hour, which requires certification and supervision, which option will most workers choose?”
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Another seismic shift in the way some people work is the dramatic rise of remote work, which some employers are using as an incentive to hire. While this option may not be available to all employees, it has become more convenient for many employees who maximize their work hours by eliminating travel time and relying on more flexible schedules.
“It was incredible to see the difference we could make to those who worked in the office,” Patton recalls. “Normally, if an entire organization plans to move to remote work, it takes years to implement that plan. But within a few weeks we were back to work even though our entire world was closed.”
As Patton points out, a McKinsey & Company study showed that most workers would prefer to be out when the world returns to “business as usual.” But communication has its disadvantages. Employers are seeing record rates as work and home life collide, and companies have spent billions of dollars to keep facilities vacant, leaving them to absorb huge financial losses.
To manage this situation, companies like Apple and Google encourage employees to work remotely by offering benefits such as cash bonuses and stock options to employees who work locally. Without government support, small businesses cannot implement such strategies.
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“I think we should accept another government intervention,” says Patton. “These small employers will need these funds to increase their payroll capacity.”
The national unemployment rate rose to 18% in March 2020. Although this rate has decreased, the unemployment rate in the state of Pennsylvania is still around 7%, which many economists consider normal. So why do employers seem desperate for workers everywhere we turn?
According to Crispin, job seekers may not have enough experience for the 10 million jobs currently open in the United States.
“If someone has a PhD in computer science, they don’t want to work at Chipotle,” Crispin sums up. “They are looking for a job that needs their experience.”
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This gap between labor supply and demand is causing some US workers to leave the job search altogether. These workers are called “excluded workers,” or workers who have essentially left the labor force and are not included in the national unemployment rate.
Therefore, while the unemployment rate is normalizing, the labor force participation rate is still low, which is unsustainable for most US households or the economy as a whole.
“Participation rates have dropped significantly, and it’s seriously affecting our workforce,” Crispin said. “These people can go back to school or take care of their children. They just know how to cook, who knows. But I’m not looking for a job.”
A common narrative in the media is that unemployment benefits are higher than the wages some workers earn, making it pointless to go back to work.
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“There’s not a lot of evidence to support that,” says Patton. “It’s true, people who need work always go back to work: $300 won’t keep them at home. But plans change, and many of the remaining jobs still haven’t come back. It’s a guess at this point. When will they be able to really trust “.
Perhaps the most significant side effect of all is the extraordinary way that COVID-19 has removed women from the workforce.
The pandemic had an almost immediate impact on working mothers. This difference was particularly pronounced among parents of children under 10: the rate of women in this group considering leaving the labor force was 10 percent higher than that of men. And women in dual-career heterosexual couples with children also report an increase in time spent on family responsibilities since the pandemic began.
The school year has just started, as the delta variant of CoVID-19 is causing a dramatic increase in positive cases worldwide, it seems impossible to keep up with childcare and for women to work.
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“Until we get our kids vaccinated, I don’t think anything is going to come back the way it should,” Crispin says. “Between the closure of daycare centers and the continued return to virtual learning in schools, working mothers have no way of predicting how much time they will have available during the day to work while caring for their children.”
Crispin testified before the House Democratic Policy Committee in Harrisburg, PA about the current state of child welfare in the United States. In his testimony, he pointed out that by 2020 there is a serious shortage of kindergartens due to permanent closures in preschool centers and significant staff shortages. Today, sending children to daycare can put parents on a waiting list for months, if not years. With child care costing US families an average of 31% of household income, many women have abandoned their gender roles as breadwinners.
“Women were reducing their working hours or leaving the labor market altogether,” says Crispin. “And ultimately, our economic recovery will be dramatically slowed, with lower productivity and a slower return to the conditions we’ve grown accustomed to at full employment.”
Such prolonged unemployment can make it difficult for them to re-enter the labor market and reset the US economy in terms of wage equality.
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“The ability to set your own schedule seems to be very important to working mothers,” says Crispin, “even more so than working remotely.” Log in and take care of your 5th grade son-in-law’s school or leave the office for your child’s 6 month check-up and then log back in around 8:00 pm. “After Sleep: It’s Important for Moms Now.”
The story is, of course, still evolving, and it is impossible to predict how the nation will dig its economy out of the hole caused by COVID-19. But the spotlight has shifted to areas where the United States has sadly always been lacking: working parents and small businesses always need government support, and it’s time to implement policies to make those opportunities more accessible. In practice, jobs and lives demand less. Terrible for the locals.
On October 17th, Saint Joseph’s Vice President and Director of Athletics, Jill Budensteiner, JD, MBA, was an expert at a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on names, images and likenesses and the future of college sports.
On October 17, San Jose Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics, Jill Budensteiner, JD, MBA, will serve as an expert before the US Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing on name, image and likeness.