Responding to the COVID-19 Unemployment Crisis and Meeting the Future of Work Challenge
Due to technology’s disruptive force in society and on the labor force, voices representing business and state governments have recently emphasized the need to revisit the social contract among firms, employees, governments, and citizens. This need has only intensified with the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic emergency associated with the pandemic has left 21.5 million workers unemployed and an additional 11.5 million workers with reduced pay to date. Today’s unemployment numbers are far worse than during the 2008 Great Recession. Underscoring the racial disparity seen in this economic crisis, Black and Latinx workers are currently experiencing higher rates of unemployment than white workers.
The next president should immediately sign two Executive Orders (EOs) to address the current crisis in work and the urgent economic emergency that has left Americans evicted, unable to pay bills, make rent, or put food on the table. The first EO would modernize unemployment insurance nationwide by boosting state unemployment insurance programs. The second would establish a U.S. Future of Work Commission tasked with developing a new model of work that addresses the key challenges the Fourth Industrial Revolution presents to American workers today.
Good data is a critical component of delivering effective government services from local to federal levels. But now, too much useful data lives in a silo.
The authors propose that the White House Task Force to Address Online Harassment and Abuse convene government actors, civil society organizations, and industry representatives to create an Anti-Online Harassment (AOH) Hub to improve and standardize responses to online harassment and to provide evidence-based recommendations to the Task Force.
If the 118th Congress decides to reauthorize the ESRA, ALI urges the HELP committee to strengthen our education system by prioritizing the following policies.
A large portion of gig workers are people of color, and the nature of their temporary and largely unregulated work can leave them vulnerable to economic instability and workplace abuse. To increase protections for fair work, the Department of Labor should create an Office of the Ombudsman for Fair Work.