As recent jobs reports show signs of an improving economy, an expert on jobs and labor recommends a way to make things even better.
Businesses and industries are struggling because of COVID-19 and the government's response to the pandemic, including the $600 bonus in unemployment assistance that hass been providing people an incentive to stay home versus return to work. But with millions of people still unemployed after a pair of positive jobs reports, Tim Doescher of The Heritage Foundation, a center-right think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., says federal, state, and local officials need to open up more of the economy.
"If you look about what's happening all around the world, there are many economies figuring out ways to open and open safely while protecting the most vulnerable among us," says Doescher.
Vulnerable populations are among the stated reasons why elected officials, not just Democrats, want people to stay at home and for certain businesses to remain closed, or at least not operate the way they did pre-pandemic.
"Stable is good, but decreasing is better, and while we are seeing stabilization of our numbers, that doesn't mean we can let up," Governor Roy Cooper (D-North Carolina) told reporters last week during a press conference announcing an extension of coronavirus restrictions into September. "You only have to look at hospitals in other states that have been overwhelmed when reopening occurred too fast."
Doescher says he can relate to people with health concerns.
"I'm a type one diabetic, and I've been told by my doctor that if I get COVID-19, I might have some serious problems, and therefore, I need to take this seriously," Doescher explains. "I haven't stayed in my apartment clenching my pillow while I sit on my bed; I've made sure that I've kept up with my exercise. I wear my mask when I go to a restaurant while I'm not eating. I make sure that I wash and sterilize. I do all that stuff because I believe that it's worth investing in my health, while at the same time I'm not going to compromise my life because somebody tells me to be scared."
The latest jobs report from the federal government says 1.8 million jobs were added in July, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, and healthcare. The June jobs report said 4.8 million jobs were added that month, and the unemployment rate sank from 13.3 percent to 11.1 percent.