TUNE IN: Taking Action on AI Today and in the Future

RSVP to join our online audience

Center for American Progress

Workforce inequalities must be addressed before another economic or health crisis
In the News

Workforce inequalities must be addressed before another economic or health crisis

Rosa M. García and Livia Lam write about the long-term economic inequalities that the coronavirus crisis has brought to light.

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.

The impact of the coronavirus is already taking its toll on the nation’s economy and on workers with low wages, estimated to be about 44 percent of the workforce.

Within just a few weeks, this public health crisis rattled international markets, causing the U.S. economy to head towards a recession. Its urgency is unquestionable. Workers in low-wage jobs are more likely to be young, women, people of color and immigrants. For example, African-American and Latinx workers, who are twice as likely to earn incomes below the poverty level and are overrepresented in affected service industries, have been hit the hardest. For them, this unprecedented crisis has fully exposed the structural vulnerabilities in the work lives of caregivers, grocery store clerks and many other workers on the frontline of the pandemic. The deep seated economic and structural inequalities that exist among America’s workforce aren’t new but our response should be.

The above excerpt was originally published in The Hill. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Rosa M. García

Livia Lam

Senior Fellow; Director, Workforce Development