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Tag Archives: Human Capital

Women’s Labor Force Participation Was Rising to Record Highs—Until the Pandemic Hit

Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz Women’s labor force participation grew precipitously in the latter half of the 20th century, but by around the year 2000, that progress had stalled. In fact, the labor force participation rate for prime-age women (those aged 25 to 54) fell four percentage points between 2000 and 2015, breaking a decades-long trend. However, as the labor market gained traction in the aftermath of the Great Recession, more women were drawn into the labor force. In less...

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Women’s Labor Force Participation Was Rising to Record Highs—Until the Pandemic Hit

Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz Women’s labor force participation grew precipitously in the latter half of the 20th century, but by around the year 2000, that progress had stalled. In fact, the labor force participation rate for prime-age women (those aged 25 to 54) fell four percentage points between 2000 and 2015, breaking a decades-long trend. However, as the labor market gained traction in the aftermath of the Great Recession, more women were drawn into the labor force. In less than...

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Black and White Differences in the Labor Market Recovery from COVID-19

David Dam, Meghana Gaur, Fatih Karahan, Laura Pilossoph, and Will Schirmer The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures put in place to contain it caused a rapid deterioration in labor market conditions for many workers and plunged the nation into recession. The unemployment rate increased dramatically during the COVID recession, rising from 3.5 percent in February to 14.8 percent in April, accompanied by an almost three percentage point decline in labor force...

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Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in Commuting for Work Following COVID-19

Ruchi Avtar, Rajashri Chakrabarti, and Maxim Pinkovskiy The introduction of numerous social distancing policies across the United States, combined with voluntary pullbacks in activity as responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, resulted in differences emerging in the types of work that were done from home and those that were not. Workers at businesses more likely to require in-person work—for example, some, but not all, workers in healthcare, retail, agriculture and...

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Black and White Differences in the Labor Market Recovery from COVID-19

David Dam, Meghana Gaur, Fatih Karahan, Laura Pilossoph, and Will Schirmer The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures put in place to contain it caused a rapid deterioration in labor market conditions for many workers and plunged the nation into recession. The unemployment rate increased dramatically during the COVID recession, rising from 3.5 percent in February to 14.8 percent in April, accompanied by an almost three percentage point decline in labor force participation....

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Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in Commuting for Work Following COVID-19

Ruchi Avtar, Rajashri Chakrabarti, and Maxim Pinkovskiy The introduction of numerous social distancing policies across the United States, combined with voluntary pullbacks in activity as responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, resulted in differences emerging in the types of work that were done from home and those that were not. Workers at businesses more likely to require in-person work—for example, some, but not all, workers in healthcare, retail, agriculture and construction—continued to come...

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Delaying College During the Pandemic Can Be Costly

Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz Many students are reconsidering their decision to go to college in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, college enrollment is expected to be down sharply as a growing number of would-be college students consider taking a gap year. In part, this pullback reflects concerns about health and safety if colleges resume in-person classes, or missing out on the “college experience” if classes are held online. In addition, poor labor market...

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Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes

Rajashri Chakrabarti, William Nober, and Wilbert van der Klaauw Across the United States, the cost of all types of higher education has been rising faster than overall inflation for more than two decades. Despite rising costs, aggregate undergraduate enrollment rose steadily between 2000 and 2010 before leveling off and dipping slightly to its current level. Rising college costs have steadily increased dependence on student debt for college financing, with many students and parents...

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Finally, Some Signs of Improvement in the Regional Economy

Jaison R. Abel, Jason Bram, Richard Deitz, and Benjamin G. Hyman The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s June business surveys show some signs of improvement in the regional economy. Following two months of unprecedented decline due to the coronavirus pandemic, indicators of business activity point to a slower pace of contraction in the service sector and signs of a rebound in the manufacturing sector. Even more encouraging, as the regional economy has begun to reopen, many...

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Job Training Mismatch and the COVID-19 Recovery: A Cautionary Note from the Great Recession

Benjamin G. Hyman and Karen X. Ni Displaced workers have been shown to endure persistent losses years beyond their initial job separation events. These losses are especially amplified during recessions. (1) One explanation for greater persistence in downturns relative to booms, is that firms and industries on the margin of structural change permanently shift the types of tasks and occupations demanded after a large negative shock (Aghion et al. (2005)), but these new occupations...

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