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Philadelphia, PA — Patrick T. Harker, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, told a virtual audience at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum that, “One of our most important responsibilities as we emerge from the pandemic — as central bankers, policymakers, and simply concerned citizens — is building an equitable workforce recovery and charting a society in which all citizens, no matter how humble the circumstances in which they are born, have a shot at achieving their full economic potential.” He noted that, while GDP has almost entirely recouped its losses suffered during the pandemic, millions of fewer Americans are working than were before the COVID-19 crisis started.

Harker cited three possible avenues to achieving an equitable workforce recovery: getting more people into opportunity occupations that don’t require a four-year college degree and that pay above the median wage, improving access to affordable childcare, and ensuring workers can get the training and education they need. He argued that an equitable recovery would be more likely to be sustainable and durable.