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Work and the Coronavirus

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Helping people understand how COVID-19 affects work and employment by sharing insights and help from ILR's workplace experts.

Public Policy

An Alternative to Mass Unemployment: Short-time Programs

Short-time compensation is a relatively low-cost program that already exists in many states to prevent or at least slow mass unemployment. With some reforms, it could protect many more U.S. jobs.
Young woman working on a laptop, sitting on a window sill.

How COVID-19’s Job Disruptions Vary by Gender, Race and Hispanic Ethnicity in August 2020

Women, African American and Hispanic workers are faring markedly worse than men and white workers.
A group of seven people stand in front of floor to ceiling windows with blue skies beyond.

August 7 Job Report: Tips on What to Consider

Erica Groshen provides insight on some of the most significant numbers in the upcoming national employment report recapping July job numbers.
photo of a laptop showing a plot chart to illustrate statistics and reports

Digital Currency Plan Would Provide Rapid Payments to Recipients In and Beyond the Pandemic

This piece hosts discussions about digital currency in light of the pandemic through work by Cornell Professor Robert Hockett.
diagram of digital currency

Opinion – All Undocumented Immigrants Deserve Citizenship – Not Just Essential Workers

Shannon Gleeson outlines the situation faced by undocumented workers, and discusses potential futures for them including pathways to citizenship and their relationship.
man wearing a mask and high-vis vest riding a delivery bike

What’s the Connection between COVID-19 and Climate Change? Inequality

The triple crises of COVID-19, climate change and soaring inequality present a moment of great peril and opportunity for the U.S.
sign on a post saying: "one world" over a graphic of the globe to illustrate unity and the planet

Job Market Conditions Remain Dire

In June, COVID-19 was still disrupting the jobs of over 24 million workers comprising about 15 percent of the labor force in February.
chart showing breakdown of covid-19 disruptions

Reopening Schools Will Take Community Collaboration

When tensions start to rise over school reopening details, communities can rally around anthems reminding them to negotiate in ways that will benefit children.
A young boy is wearing a medical mask talking with friends at school.

New York State is Reopening, But Weekly Unemployment Claims Have Started to Climb Again

Russell Weaver explains the numbers behind rising unemployment claims as New York State reopens.
Chart illustrating trending unemployment claims

Work, Workers, and Public Policy During a Pandemic

Recorded June 8 - Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth Harris discusses the pandemic-related public policy issues affecting workers, labor markets, and workplaces.
Seth Harris

Now more than ever: be fair to direct care

YTI's Ellice Switzer discusses how the pandemic has created an elevated risk for many types of essential workers.
Older woman outside with a walker assisted by a home health aide

Tracking Unemployment in New York State

A June 3 report will provide more accurate figures about unemployment in New York state.
Regions of New York State

Racial and Economic Inequality in NYS within the Context of the Pandemic and Protests against Racism

The average annual salary from 2014 to 2018 in New York state for a white worker was $60,808 as compared to $40,707 for a black worker in New York state, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
dollar bills illustrating pay

Weekly UI Claims in New York Reach Highest Total in Six Weeks, as National Numbers Continue to Fall

Russell Weaver shows that New York State unemployment-insurance claims have reached a high while national numbers drop.
chart illustrating change in unemployment-insurance claims

What is New York State’s Current Unemployment Rate?

Russell Weaver helps answer the pressing question: "What is New York's unemployment rate?"
map illustrating New York's regions for labor markets

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

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.

Weekly Claims Continue to Fluctuate Despite Downward National Trend

Russell Weaver outlines fluctuations in unemployment-insurance benefit claims in the context of national trends.
screenshot of a chart to illustrate changes in UI claims

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

COVID-19: What Unemployment Delays Mean for Newly Unemployed Workers

The processing capacity of state departments of labor are outpaced by an unprecedented volume of unemployment claims and call for emergency relief measures.
Frustrated man at home with family in the background

What Do the Economic Numbers Mean?

The national unemployment rate could go up to 20 percent in April, says ILR's Erica Groshen.
A magnifying glass is held over the word jobs in a newspaper.

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.

Mapping Workers at Risk of Layoffs and Loss of Health Care

Which New York state residents are most likely to lose their jobs? Where do they live and what do they do?
Housekeeping cart with cleaning supplies in a hotel hallway.

Unprecedented Unemployment Claims Create Immediate Needs

State and local government agencies need to identify flexible public funding that can provide rapid assistance to newly unemployed workers.
Man with disheveled clothing holding a notebook and coat, standing in a defeated posture.

Who is an Essential Worker in NYS?

Exactly who is deemed an "essential worker" in New York state?
female employee holding a clipboard checks products on shelves

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

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

Surprise Medical Bills Loom Over ER Visits

Surprise medical bills of huge proportions follow many emergency room visits. Private equity firms that increasingly control hospitals are often to blame and need to stop the practice, particularly during the pandemic, writes Professor Rose Batt.
woman wearing surgical mask holding several hundred dollar bills

Economic Impact of Coronavirus

ILR Visiting Scholar Erica Groshen, who served as commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, discussed on the “Capital Pressroom” radio program how the economy has been stunned by the coronavirus.
"Sorry, we're closed" sign hanging on a business door.

Labor Relations and Superbugs: ILR Research

ILR School Associate Professors Ariel Avgar and Adam Litwin are co-authors of a 2017 study that is relevant to controlling the pandemic: the relationship between labor relations and germ transmission, including “superbugs.”
Superbug

NYS Should Expand Prevailing Wage

In a “Gotham Gazette” opinion piece, ILR's Fred Kotler advocates for expanding the prevailing wage in New York state.
Construction workers building a skylight