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Equitable Recovery Series: Spencer Overton

January 18, 2021

Spencer Overton

President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

In the fourth episode of our Equitable Recovery series, Spencer Overton, the President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, joins WorkingNation’s editor-in-chief Ramona Schindelheim to discuss the issues facing Black Americans in the workforce.

“There were problems even before the pandemic. In 2017, we found that 27% of African American workers were concentrated in just 30 jobs at high risk to automation,” explains Overton. “More recently, we looked at a list of 10 top jobs (in which) there are more African American workers in these jobs than any other jobs. That list of 10 overlaps with another top 10 list, and that’s the top 10 list of jobs that will displace the most workers by 2030 pulled together by McKinsey.”

This overlap creates unique challenges for Black job seekers as they try to find their way back into the workforce.

Equitable Recovery Series

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 12.6 million people were unemployed as of September 2020. Black and Latinx workers are bearing the brunt of these job losses, with unemployment rates 4.2% and 2.4% higher than average, respectively. Permanent job losses are also increasing. The number of workers on permanent layoff increased by 345,000 from August to September, rising to 3.8 million.

How can we ensure that all workers can access meaningful and sustainable work during our economic recovery?

CWI Labs and WorkingNation have invited experts in workforce development, labor economics, aging, racial equity and policy to discuss the challenges before our Nation. And, most importantly, to introduce thought-provoking solutions.

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