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Work and the Coronavirus

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How COVID-19 affects work, labor and employment.

We aim to help make sense of how the coronavirus pandemic changes the workplace – from employment and legal policy, to labor relations and HR policies and practices. We will continue to share data, analysis, research and insight from our faculty and experts.

What’s the best indicator of COVID-19’s impact on jobs?

The national jobs report issued monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes numbers that help predict labor market behavior. ILR School Senior Extension Associate Erica Groshen, who served as bureau commissioner, explains why the report is a go-to standard for understanding employment in the United States.
A magnifying glass is held over the word jobs in a newspaper.

What is an Essential Worker in New York State?

Understand the New York state guidelines for classifying businesses as essential.
postal worker pushing a cart with mail

Unemployment Insurance: Taking Stock in New York State

Understand changes to unemployment insurance in the first five weeks of the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
New York State department of labor office facade.

Fashioning a Response: Results from the Model Alliance COVID-19 Survey

The Worker Institute analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on models in a report published by the Model Alliance.
an empty modeling runway

How the CARES Act Impacts Workers

Learn what the CARES Act does for for working people, low-income people and gig workers.
CARES Act, Washington, DC capital building

U.S. Government Mandates COVID-19 Paid Leave

The Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act -- here's how it works.
children playing at home with a woman working in the background

Adaptation for Graduates Seeking Jobs

ILR’s Office of Career Services director, Anu Lyons, discusses the strategy of adaptation for recent graduates looking for jobs.
photo of a net illustrating the concept of networking and casting a wide net

Here’s Where to Get Help with Unemployment Benefits in New York State.

ILR's Ian Greer outlines places you can turn for help with unemployment benefits in New York State.
photo of light illuminating a road through trees to illustrate an emotion of hope and help

COVID-19 Labor Market Impacts Discussed

ILR faculty members draw from their research to address workplace issues in a student-organized panel.
screenshot of one of the panelists in the included video

Healthcare Labor-Management Partnership in the time of Our Pandemic

The knowledge and experience of front-line employees is crucial to the process as businesses and communities plan for reopening after COVID.
Eight healthcare workers pose for a group portrait

New Employment Numbers: What They Mean for People with Disabilities

ILR's Hassan Enayati and Ellice Switzer explain the employment numbers released for April 2020, and their impact on people with disabilities.
photo showing a line chart to illustrate the topic of statistics

Resources for Graduates in the CARES Act

The Worker Institute's Hunter Moskowitz outlines some of the resources recent graduates should explore in the CARES Act.
 a person's hand writing on papers

Reopening the Workplace

Screening, barriers and social distancing – ILR workplace safety expert Nellie Brown says that safety measures to help curb COVID-19 will reduce the spread of other diseases.
view of a mountain through a tunnel to illustrate the concept of emerging

Worker Alcohol Abuse: Employers Can Help

Knowing who is at risk and how to support those most in need helps managers assist workers who are especially vulnerable during the pandemic, according to ILR Associate Professor William Sonnenstuhl.
Beer glass next to wristwatch, smart phone and laptop

You’re Leading the Old Way: Get Over It

Professor Samuel Bacharach provides seven steps to better management in the time of COVID-19.
Man in suit pointing a finger toward the viewer

True Resilience Involves Pushing Forward From COVID-19, Not Just Bouncing Back

Russell Weaver asks whether we really want to "bounce back," instead of building better systems after the pandemic.
A protest sign that says, "Human needs before corporate greed." The sign is posted in a bush and people are walking in the background.

Impact on the Workforce and People with Disabilities

YTI's Thomas Golden discusses recent survey results that cover the impact of COVID-19 on Americans with disabilities and employment.
Special needs worker in warehouse setting

Large Drop in Weekly UI Claims Though Totals Remain at Historic Levels

Russell Weaver explains the recent changes in national and New York State unemployment insurance claim numbers.
Initial Weekly unemployment insurance claims in New York.

Who are the Frontline Workers? Why Does Hazard Pay Make Sense?

ILR Professor Francine Blau is the lead author of an analysis, published by “ECONOFACT,” of frontline workers and their pay.
photo of a box being delivered to illustrate frontline workers

Weekly UI Claims Still at Staggering Levels; New Unemployment Estimates – Implications for New York State

Russell Weaver helps answer the question: What might the report of UI cmails foretell about unemployment in New York State?
chart illustrating changing weekly ui claims

It Matters that Most COVID Layoffs in March were Furloughs

Erica Groshen explains how a dose of good news in March can be found in the difference between furloughs and layoffs.
person writing on brown wooden table near white ceramic mug

Online Events and Webinars

See all Online Events and Webinars

Gig Worker Rights in New York State during the Covid-19 Crisis and Beyond

Sponsored by the Worker Institute's Lois Gray Innovation Initiative, this webinar will examine the issues that gig-economy workers have been facing prior to and during the COVID-19 crisis. The panel will assess the existing policy and organizing solutions to the challenges.
Man wearing a face mask riding an e-scooter on a city street

Webinar: Tax Advice for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Cornell's CREA is hosting a webinar on May 21 covering changes in tax and offering advice to startups and entrepreneurs.
photo of a calculator and pen to illustrate taxes

Webinar: Remote Leadership in Startups and Small Business

Cornell's Center for Regional Economic Advancement led an interactive webinar on leading remote teams with a wide range of panelists who blended theory with application for small businesses.
photograph of an office with chairs and desks to illustrate small business activity

Webinar: Returning to Work After COVID-19, Employment Planning and Managing a Changed Workforce

Cornell's Center for Regional Economic Advancement hosted a webinar focused on legal and practical issues for startups and business owners for post-COVID recovery plans.
photo of a shop door with a note saying:"We cannot wait to see you again, stay safe."

Webinar: Building Worker Power in New York State during the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond

On April 30th, 2020, join us for a live online forum hosted by the NYS AFL-CIO-Cornell University Union Leadership Institute
Building Worker POwer in NY State during the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond

Webinar: Sustainable Supply Chain Labor Practices

April 15, 2020 - Cornell faculty experts, along with sourcing and union leaders, will discuss these questions and more as they examine the implications of COVID-19’s disruption of global supply chains for both buyers and workers.
Scientific worker in full protective gear with tray of samples

ILR in the News on COVID-19

See more media coverage of ILR expertise

LI firms shut down since mid-March will reopen to a world with new rules

Newsday
The future of retail could include widened aisles, a goodbye to cash and staggered worker hours, says Nellie Brown of the Worker Institute.

Schools could be 'dangerous breeding grounds' for COVID-19 if opened early

WCNY
Lee Adler argues that schools, which are “dangerous breeding grounds” for the coronavirus, should remain closed until widespread testing is available.

Widespread joblessness in New York will raise unemployment rate to Depression-era levels

Democrat and Chronicle
One in six of New York state's employable residents is out of a job and it's unclear, says Russell Weaver of ILR's Buffalo Co-lab, when employment will recover from COVID-19's economic destruction.