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Even with a COVID-19 vaccine on the way, a full recovery in the United States from the pandemic’s economic devastation will undoubtedly take time. But, says Alicia Sasser Modestino, an economist and associate professor at Northeastern, certain measures can be taken now to position the country for a faster and stronger rebound.

According to the latest jobs report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an additional 385,000 people became long-term unemployed in November as rising coronavirus cases forced renewed lockdowns across the nation. That figure brings the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, representing 3.9 million people who are out of work.

And COVID-19 has been especially hard on working women. The disruptions to daycare centers, schools, and afterschool programs have forced women with children to frequently reduce their hours or leave their jobs entirely. A survey Modestino conductedwith her colleagues and fellow professors at Northeastern, Jamie Ladge and Alisa Lincoln, found that one in four women became unemployed during the pandemic solely because they had to stay home and take care of their children as a result of daycare and school closures.


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