Twenty-one policy resources to combat the coronavirus recession

Policymakers learned late last week that the U.S. economy registered a stunning 9.4 percent contraction in the second quarter of this year, a drop not experienced since the Great Depression more than eight decades ago. And that extraordinarily bad news came in late July—following weeks of the novel coronavirus becoming “extraordinarily widespread” across most of the country, leading a number of states and municipalities to restrict or re-restrict economic activity to stem the pandemic and rising number of deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. U.S. economists are mildly to extraordinarily concerned that our economy is moving toward further contraction and a possible return to the record unemployment numbers posted this past spring.

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth launched a new web page dedicated to policy resources for the coronavirus recession. Nearly every day since, we’ve posted new analysis and policy recommendations backed by evidence-based research on the ways the federal government can help our economy recover and ensure that recovery is broad-based and equitable. Much of this policy work is based on our Vision 2020 project, a resource designed to provide policymakers in Congress and the federal government with detailed policy recommendations on a wide array of issues.

Together, these two resource pages on our website point to workable solutions to the multitude of interconnected economic travails besetting the country. Some of these ideas are immediately relevant to economic growth for the remainder of the year, particularly the need to deal with the spread of the coronavirus itself as the first order of business. Other ideas on these resource pages point to ways policymakers can ensure the recovery from this recession is different from past ones. Here is a list of some of these most relevant posts.

Jobs and Unemployment Insurance

Factsheet: Unemployment Insurance and why the effect of work disincentives is greatly overstated amid the coronavirus recession

Fool Me Once: Investing in Unemployment Insurance systems to avoid the mistakes of the Great Recession during COVID-19

Coronavirus recession layoffs require reforms to the Unemployment Insurance program now to fully protect all U.S. workers

Child care

Child care is essential for working parents, but is the industry ready and safe to reopen?

The coronavirus pandemic requires a wartime commitment for essential workers’ access to child care

How the coronavirus pandemic is harming family well-being for U.S. low-wage workers

Paid leave

New analysis shows state paid leave programs cushioned the blow of COVID-19, sparking important new questions

The economic imperative of enacting paid family leave across the United States

Small businesses

Did the Paycheck Protection Program work for small businesses across the United States?

More resilient small U.S. restaurants and their workers can exit the coronavirus recession and sustain an equitable economic recovery

Rescuing small businesses to fight the coronavirus recession and prevent further economic inequality in the United States

The coronavirus and structural racism

A feminist economic policy agenda in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the quest for racial justice

The coronavirus recession is an opportunity to cancel all U.S. student loan debt

New congressional reports underscore structural inequalities driving U.S. racial disparities in coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths

The coronavirus and the environment

Americans want green spending in federal coronavirus recession relief packages

Green stimulus, not dirty bailouts, is the smart investment strategy during the coronavirus recession

The coronavirus and data collection

The coronavirus pandemic highlights the importance of disaggregating U.S. data by race and ethnicity

Data will provide accountability to ensure the U.S. economic recovery is shared broadly

Social insurance

Broken plumbing: How systems for delivering economic relief in response to the coronavirus recession failed the U.S. economy

New research finds enhanced U.S. social insurance will be necessary until the coronavirus recession recedes

The coronavirus recession highlights the importance of automatic stabilizers

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