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What the US Recovery Is Missing

Although the US economy has recovered faster than many others around the world, persistent labor-market problems lurk beneath the surface. The deep class-, race-, and gender-based inequalities laid bare by the pandemic are getting worse, demanding concerted action by policymakers.

BERKELEY – The expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits in the United States has come and gone with no noticeable impact on the number of Americans seeking work. This should come as no surprise. Arguments made by uninformed and self-interested low-wage employers who blamed the pandemic-era safety net for their inability to fill open positions never held water. Research from the US Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has shown that early suspension of benefits in some states had no noticeable impact on their unemployment rates.