Brookings reports that before the pandemic hit, 44% of U.S. families in 2019 did not earn an income that was high enough to cover their families’ living expenses. Markedly, families headed by women (53%), Black (58%), and Latino or Hispanic (57%) individuals and individuals without a high school diploma (65%) are much more likely to be struggling economically. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the low-wage crisis to new heights, as unemployed and underemployed low-wage workers—particularly women and people of color—face severe economic insecurity. In the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy shed low-wage jobs at eight times the rate of high-wage jobs. For those local and regional leaders responsible for crafting economic recovery strategies, there is intense pressure to grow back lost jobs and reconnect workers to them. But how will local leaders know if their recoveries are being driven by higher-quality jobs, and that those jobs are paying enough to lift families out of their current economic insecurity? This report provides family-sustaining wage thresholds derived from pre-pandemic data that can guide public-private partnerships that want to rebuild a more socially stable and prosperous economy in the wake of COVID-19. #workforce #racialequity #covid-19
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