Steps to Repairing the American Workforce from COVID-19

Even as weekly jobless claims are improving, employers continue to report labor supply shortages.

States reported that 444,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending May 15, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised level and the lowest level of initial claims since Mar. 2020.

Some economists have pointed to enhanced unemployment benefits and expanded eligibility as factors contributing to these shortages, especially in the services sector. For that reason, at least 21 states are looking to cut off access to federal benefits this summer, before the program’s Sept. expiration.

So what’s up next to start repairing the American workforce?

The current administration has put forth The American Jobs Plan as a “moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy”.

The plan identifies many different areas of focus for improvement, but in general will concentrate on:

  • Fixing highways, rebuilding bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems.
    • The President’s plan will modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main-streets. It will fix the ten most economically significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction. It also will repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, providing critical linkages to communities.
  • Delivering clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans.
    • It will put hundreds of thousands of people to work laying thousands of miles of transmission lines and capping hundreds of thousands of orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines. And, it will bring affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to every American, including the more than 35 percent of rural Americans who lack access to broadband at minimally acceptable speeds.
  • Solidify the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers.
    • The President’s plan makes substantial investments in the infrastructure of our care economy, starting by creating new and better jobs for caregiving workers.
  • Revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the jobs of the future.
    • President Biden’s plan will ensure that the best, diverse minds in America are put to work creating the innovations of the future while creating hundreds of thousands of quality jobs today.

In total, the plan will invest about $2 trillion this decade. If passed alongside President Biden’s Made in America corporate tax plan, it will be fully paid for within the next 15 years and reduce deficits in the years after.

Read more about the plan and what could be included if passed on The White House website here.

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