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Filling the Lifeboats

Getting America Back to Work after the Pandemic

May 22, 2020 by Emsi Burning Glass

With more than 30 million unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic, US workforce agencies are facing a desperate need for jobs that can serve as “lifeboats” for those out of work until the economy recovers. Emsi Burning Glass has identified jobs that workforce agencies can focus on for near-term employment. Based on the Emsi Burning Glass database of more than a billion job postings and resumes worldwide, we think there are two key points that can guide workforce policy:

  • Even in the depths of the pandemic’s economic shock, there are jobs that can serve as “lifeboats” for at least some of those who have lost work and that require little or no retraining; and,
  • There are pathways from these lifeboat jobs and from jobs lost in the pandemic into roles with decent pay and a solid future.

The second point is as critical as the first, as multiple studies have shown this is exactly what happens: laid-off workers may never regain the pay levels they had enjoyed before losing their job. In addition, jobs may not come back quickly. Employers may be reluctant to hire until they are sure the economy has recovered, while others may take the opportunity to consider what tasks could be done by technology. While there aren’t nearly enough lifeboat jobs for all of the unemployed, effective placement into these jobs could ease the crisis for many. A second, upcoming report will focus on jobs most likely to drive the recovery.

Download the report.

Emsi Burning Glass

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