Researchers found that, over the course of the study, participants enrolled in the sectoral programs earned 18 percent more money than control group participants. Program participants were more likely to be engaged in work over the course of the study period and employed for all 12 months of the year. Program participants also earned higher wages than control participants and were more likely to work in jobs that offered benefits such as health insurance or paid leave. Additionally, researchers observed earnings gains among all program participant subgroups.
More recently, in , MDRC released its findings from a random assignment evaluation of the WorkAdvance program—another sectoral employment and training model. The study examined four sectoral programs targeted at low-income and unemployed adults over the course of two years.
Over recent decades, the economy has shifted in ways that have made it particularly important for workers to have a role in designing and delivering workforce training. Training and career ladders are different from what workers experienced in the middle and later parts of the 20th century. Employers are providing less help and structure than they previously did, and workers are increasingly responsible for developing their own skills and managing their own careers.
Although the degree of change is sometimes overstated, the typical tenure for male workers has declined over recent decades, and lifetime employment with one company is rare. Firms take even less responsibility for the needs of workers who are deemed to fall outside of their core competency, and the companies doing the less profitable work, which has been farmed out, often do not have the margins or stability to invest in training.
At the same time, unions have lost strength. In the United States, joining together in a union is the most effective way for workers to influence training. Additional kinds of worker organizations—such as works councils, which are common in Europe—could also potentially provide a way for workers to shape training, as long as the organizations are democratic, with the sole mission of representing workers. Other types of organizations such as community colleges may emphasize many of the same issues as worker organizations, but their missions are focused elsewhere.
In , just 6. Polls show that workers would like a greater voice at work, but U. In short, workers have less power to encourage their employers to invest in training, and firms have decided that they are less responsible for meeting the needs of workers, which include their training.
Training sponsored by federal, state, and local governments has not filled the hole left by employers pulling back. Employers do the vast majority of workforce training, and government spending on training per worker has declined as well. Funding for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act WIOA , the largest dedicated source of federal funding for job training, has declined by 43 percent since These changes mean that workers have less voice, less security, and greater difficulty getting training.
Workers are increasingly on their own and in need of help. In this environment, it makes sense to create a way for workers to have a stronger voice in the design and implementation of training—via unions or other worker organizations. Doing so would help workers to get more training and ensure that the training they receive meets their needs.
The existing public workforce system does not perform as well as it could. It trains too few workers, does not always deliver high-quality training, and does not consistently ensure that training leads to a good job. Still, the system does deliver for some workers and businesses and it contains a number of elements upon which to build.
Indeed, the multistakeholder model in workforce boards and some of the existing funding mechanisms provide an adequate base that can be reformed and built upon. The next sections describe these building blocks in more detail before discussing how they could be reformed into a true partnership that delivers for both businesses and workers. The primary source of dedicated federal funding for worker training programs is WIOA, which authorizes and funds the public workforce development system, consisting of a national network of more than 2, American Job Centers, which provide a range of career preparation and training services to jobseekers.
WIOA is highly decentralized. The law requires states to establish state workforce development boards, which then identify local workforce development areas; these are governed by local workforce development boards. The law requires both state and local boards to be business-led, meaning that they are chaired by a business representative and that members of the business community comprise at least 50 percent of the board.
At least 20 percent must represent workforce representatives in the state; this must include both representatives of organized labor and representatives of a joint labor-management apprenticeship program and can include representatives of relevant community-based organizations as well as representatives of youth-serving education and training organizations. The remaining slots are reserved for state policymakers and government officials.
Local board makeup largely mirrors state board makeup, but the former requires additional representation from other locally relevant stakeholders, such as education and training providers. State board responsibilities include developing a state workforce plan, developing statewide workforce strategies, developing statewide accountability measures, disseminating best practices, and other activities to improve the functionality of the workforce system.
Local workforce development boards are responsible for devising local and regional workforce development strategies as well as the operation of the American Job Center system in their local areas, which are identified by the state. Responsibilities of the local board include managing local workforce planning and regional labor market analysis; convening various relevant stakeholders; engaging employers in the workforce system; developing career pathways; lifting up best practices in workforce development; handling program oversight and accountability; and selecting local providers—including eligible training providers.
The most recent WIOA authorization established several new policies to improve the functionality of the workforce system. In short, the public workforce system, in many respects, is already set up to emphasize a collaboration among businesses, workers, and the community.
The problem is that the collaborations within state and local boards and within the organizations they fund are not always true partnerships because workers have far less voice in the system than do businesses or other organizations. Furthermore, despite the introduction of new policies supporting sector partnerships, the investments made in training at the local level are not consistently oriented toward a sectoral model.
The number of workers who receive WIOA-financed training each year is quite small. The Department of Labor estimates that in fiscal year , more than 23 million Americans accessed WIOA training and employment services such as job search, labor exchange, or other career services. Among those workers, just 11 percent of adults and 14 percent of dislocated workers receive training through the workforce system.
About 35 percent of youth receive some basic or occupational skills training. WIOA funding is disbursed by the federal government to the states. Eighty-five percent of the state funding then flows to local workforce development areas, while 15 percent is reserved for statewide activities.
Federal funding from the Higher Education Act of , 37 which authorizes federal student grants and loans, as well as the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, 38 also serve as a funding source that supports the development of job training programs at community colleges.
Even though Congress has not provided additional funding to support sectoral training, the Obama administration made funding available for sectoral training models throughout its time in office. In , following a review of federal job training programs led by former Vice President Joe Biden, the White House released a report identifying effective workforce strategies that the administration would deploy or was deploying in its grant-making.
Importantly, the program permitted workforce intermediaries such as labor unions or labor-management organizations to serve as private sector partners on behalf of business entities. The Trump administration has not yet put forth similar proposals to support sectoral training models. In addition to federal funding, state and local governments invest in sectoral approaches.
A analysis conducted by the National Skills Coalition found that 21 states have policies in place to support sector partnerships. Four states receive federal funding or use some combination of state and federal funding to support their sectoral initiatives. In short, federal and state governments provide significant but inadequate funding for workforce training, and there has been some limited movement to encourage sectoral training.
Business and labor jointly represent two-thirds of the voting membership, with membership split equally between the two. Since , New Jersey has operated a Workforce Development Partnership Fund, which was created to provide training grants to dislocated and disadvantaged workers as well as employer-provided training for incumbent workers. Even as the incidence of employer-provided training is on the decline, employers are still responsible for funding a large share of the worker training that occurs across the country.
Estimates of how much money employers spend on training annually vary. The most recent federal survey of employer-provided training was conducted in , and it examined the incidence of training but failed to address whether the training was allocated to higher-skilled, higher-wage workers. Unions have a long history of delivering effective, job-relevant training to their members. Since the mids, U. Unions have also developed and worked with workforce intermediary partnerships that bring together unions and employers to deliver training that is organized regionally or by sector; develop relationships with partners; and in many instances, recruit from underrepresented communities.
Today, worker organizations, especially unions, help deliver high-quality training to a significant number of workers. Unions partner with employers to provide training to workers in a wide variety of industries—including aerospace, construction, health care, and hospitality—and play a key role in the success of these labor-management partnerships.
The program has credited labor union involvement for its success in training and placing workers into well-paying manufacturing jobs. WRTP has highlighted the critical role labor unions play in protecting the interests of workers; securing access to well-paying jobs; designing and organizing industry partnerships; incorporating worker voice into training programs; establishing an internal structure for advancement; and identifying regional industry trends occurring across multiple unionized job sites.
Workers and their unions can help encourage employers to fund training, coordinate the involvement of multiple employers, reach out to workers to promote the program, monitor training quality, and ensure that workers feel comfortable participating in training and get a good job following its completion, among other activities. Research shows that involving worker organizations can help workers to receive more training and that this training leads to jobs with higher pay.
Schild et al. Bartos et al. The global lockdown and the considerable slowdown of economic activities are expected to have a positive effect on the environment Almond et al. He et al. Similarly, Almond et al. They determined that, while nitrogen dioxide NO 2 emissions fell precipitously, sulphur dioxide emissions SO 2 did not decrease.
For China as a whole, PM 2. These variations show that there is not necessarily an unambiguous improvement in air pollution due to the economic slowdown. The reduction can be attributed to less travel in personal vehicles causing lower nitrous oxide NO 2 emissions. Cicala et al. On the other hand, Andree focuses on the effect of pollution on cases, finding that PM 2.
The economic literature deals with a wide assortment of policy measures. We organize our presentation into six broad topics: i the types of policy measures, ii the determinants of government policy, iii optimal testing methods, iv the lockdown measures and their associated factors, v the lifting of the lockdown measures, and vi the economic stimulus measures. To mitigate the negative effects of public health controls on the economy and to sustain and promote public welfare, governments all around the World have implemented a variety of policies within a very short time frame.
These include fiscal, monetary, and financial policy measures Gourinchas, Using a database of economic policies implemented by countries, Elgin et al. The authors correlate the standardized index with predictors of governmental response, such as population characteristics e.
On a similar note, Porcher has created an index of public health measures using the PCA technique. The index is designed to measure the stringency of the public health response across countries. Cheng et al. The information that is contained in this data base is categorized according to: i type of policy, ii national versus subnational enforcement, iii people and geographic region targeted by the policy, and iv the time frame within which it is implemented.
Table 4 provides a description of the government response database for countries. Counts are tabulated according to 15 types of interventions for two variables: cumulative number of policies of that type implemented and the number of countries which have implemented it. It also displays that average value for the degree of enforcement. Source: C. There is substantial variation across policy measures.
This includes the provision of materials e. Based on that index, the authors determine that school closure is the costliest to implement followed by mandatory business closure and social distancing policies. Moreover, internal border restrictions are viewed as more costly compared to external border restriction. The topic of optimal testing methods has received a great deal of attention in the media and, to some extent, in academia. The topic of optimal lockdown policies has been investigated mostly by using epidemiology macroeconomic models, some of which are oriented around the dichotomy between the case in which the choices and responses are all made by private agents and the case in which the choices are made by a social planner Acemoglu et al.
Jones et al. The outcomes are dependent on the assumed values of the parameters that are inputted into these models. The intensity of the lockdown depends on the gradient of the fatality rate as a function of the number of infected individuals and on the assumed value of a statistical life. The absence of testing increases the economic costs of the lockdown and shortens the duration of the optimal lockdown Alvarez et al. For instance, fiscal transfers must be large enough to induce people to stay at home in order to reduce the degree of contagion; otherwise they might not change their behavior in efforts to reduce the risk of infection.
Their analysis also contains a critique of the use of SIR models, as the parameters used in that class of models which remain fixed in value would shift as individuals change their behavior in response to policy. Kozlowski et al. When the daily death rates and case numbers decline, policies regarding reopening the economy are of primary importance. Gregory et al. Harris points out the importance of utilizing several status indicators e. Kopecky and Zha state that decreases in deaths are either due to implementation of social distancing measures or to herd immunity; it is hard to identify and disentangle those factors using standard SIR models.
Agarwal et al. Using a counterfactual scenario, the authors find that lifting severe mobility restrictions but retaining moderate mobility restrictions e. Others, such as Rampini , make the case for the sequential lifting of lockdown measures for the younger population at the initial stages, followed by the older population at later stages. The authors state that the lower effect on the younger population group is a fortunate coincidence, and thus, the economic consequences of interventions can be greatly reduced by adopting a sequential approach.
Oswald and Powdthavee make a similar case for releasing the younger population from mobility restrictions first on the grounds of higher economic efficiency as they are more likely to be in the labor force and their greater resilience against infections. As some US states reopened, some researchers turned their focus on the immediate consequences.
Nguyen et al. These findings have important implications for the resurgence of cases, hospital capacity utilization, and further deaths. Dave, Friedson, Matsuzawa, and McNichols et al. In regards to the aggregate macroeconomy, Gourinchas states that without substantial, timely, and stimulative macroeconomic intervention, the output lost from the economic downturn will be greatly amplified, especially as economic agents react to the negative shock by reducing consumption spending, investment spending, and engaging in lower credit transactions.
With high amounts of government debt and historically low interest levels existing in most developed countries, Bianchi et al. This measure would increase aggregate spending, raise the inflation rate, and reduce real interest rates. In the long run, governments would try to balance the budget, and future monetary policy would aim to bring inflation back to normal levels.
Bigio et al. They determine that the optimal mix between them depends on the level of financial development in the economy. According to these authors, economies with a developed financial system should utilize stimulative credit policies.
On the other hand, developing economies should engage in more transfer spending. These policies can break the cycle of negative feedback loops between corporate defaults and potential insolvency of financial intermediaries, which could culminate in a meltdown in financial markets Elenev et al.
Didier et al. They find that stimulus payments delivered through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security CARES Act increased consumption spending, and that this spending was directed toward durable goods, which require low physical interaction at various stages of production. On the other hand, loans to small businesses from the Paycheck Protection Program did little to restore employment among businesses. The authors conclude that the fiscal policy measures might be insufficient in managing these expectations amidst uncertainties.
Our primary aim is to synthesize and to bring coherence and structure to the very rapidly growing body of relevant scientific evidence. For readers who are interested in this critically important and pressing topic, this piece also provides an informative summary of the state of knowledge at the time of writing. We first pointed out that the numbers of reported cases and deaths are subject to measurement error due to many factors, including testing capacity constraints and lags.
Mobility measures that are based on GPS coordinates emitted from cell phones have been used extensively to measure social distancing. However, there are certain caveats that apply, particularly in terms of privacy concerns and the representativeness of data. Going forward, social distancing actions and their measurements will continue to figure prominently in academic research and policy development.
We divided our coverage of the impact of the macroeconomy into two subsections, the first of which deals with the propagation mechanisms. The resultant declines in consumer and investor confidence reinforce negative multiplier effects in a downward spiral between labor and output markets, which can be partially attenuated by stimulative fiscal and monetary policies. Since the trajectory for the macroeconomy depends critically on the degree of spread of the virus itself, some researchers have integrated that element into their models.
It is thought that the lockdown and social distancing measures wreak greater economic harm than the spread of the virus itself. The tremendous uncertainty regarding the path of the virus is compounded with a high degree of economic uncertainty such that these projections are subject to very wide confidence intervals and constant revisions.
In terms of the labor market outcomes, research has shown that there is a high degree of heterogeneity in the pattern of job losses. The pandemic has caused a major shift toward work from home and away from positions involving F2F interactions with either the public or coworkers. Social distancing measures have led to serious deteriorations in the levels of mental health, family stress, and domestic violence.
There has been a marked rise in observed racial discrimination and sentiments of hostility toward certain ethnic groups. A growing number of studies also document that women have been adversely affected by the loss of child care and educational services for their children. This was a very challenging task, as the literature is growing and evolving fast, and the pandemic is far from over at the time of writing. There are a few qualifications that are worth mentioning.
First, very few of the research articles surveyed have undergone normal scientific review processes. Second, we mostly did not comment on methodology, which necessitates caution in interpretations. Finally, due to time as well as space constraints, we offer little in the way of critical analysis. Journal of Economic Surveys , 1— However, if a person works from home or becomes unemployed, there will not be a distinct workplace reference point.
Hence, the quality of mobility measures is expected to deteriorate. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Econ Surv. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Abel Brodeur, Email: ac. Corresponding author. Email: ac. It can be used for unrestricted research re-use and analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source, for the duration of the public health emergency.
Open in a separate window. Measurement of social distancing Compared to measuring the spread of the virus, social distancing is not easy to quantify. Mobility measures How do they work? It shows how visits to, or length of stay at, different types of locations change over time compared to a baseline period.
The reports have six locational categories: i retail and recreation, ii grocery and pharmacy, iii parks, beaches, etc. These include the flows of passengers and urban travel intensities as well as city migration trends. Quantitative macroeconomic impacts As the pandemic unfolds, many researchers have been thinking about the economic impact from a historical perspective. Labor market outcomes A large number of studies document the effects on the variables of hours of work and job losses e.
Health outcomes The impact of the pandemic on physical health and mortality has been documented in many studies e. Environmental outcomes The global lockdown and the considerable slowdown of economic activities are expected to have a positive effect on the environment Almond et al.
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