Let’s ditch the monthly unemployment report.
On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden assumes the U.S. Presidency. But, right now, Mr. Biden focuses time and energy on forming task forces to mitigate the spread of COVID. He will also put in place the supply chain necessary to deliver a vaccine to some 330 million Americans.
COVID will consume the new president’s early days and months in office. But, the economic pain of American workers also factors. Already, President-elect Biden’s transition team is thinking about how to get people who want to work, and who need to work, back on the job.
For over 100 years, the U.S. government published monthly stats on unemployment. That report must update to one that factors the health and wellness of all workers, especially underemployed ones.
- As of October 2020, 11 million full-time American workers remain unemployed. That’s down from the high water mark of Spring 2020 (23 million workers);
- That 11 million-member cohort does not include self-employed contract talent, gig workers, part-time employees, or under-employed people;
- Payscale.com’s survey indicates that 46 percent of American workers say that they are under-employed. That’s 71 million people!
Not all workers seek full-time employment. So, when we ditch the monthly unemployment report, we better reflect the changes in how American workers seek and do work.
Benefit Portability would help all workers.
The Biden Administration should allow American workers to take their hard earned benefits with them. Benefit Portability would enable them to port their 401k investments and other things from job to job, and over their lifetimes. Currently, when someone leaves a full-time job, their retirement assets cash-out. And it often becomes the responsibility of the worker to manage those assets parked in an IRA. Often, that doesn’t work out well.
First things first: let’s ditch the monthly unemployment report, to tell a truer story of the health and well-being of American workers.
EPISODE DATE: October 13, 2020
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Image credits: Worker at keyboard, anyakerkyt for iStock Photo; Screen with economic data, monsitj for iStock Photo; Podcast button, J. Brandt Studio for The Dan Smolen Experience.