Manager Flory Ramirez waits for customers as restaurants are reopened following the lifting of some restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Houston, Texas, May 1, 2020, photo by Go Nakamura/Reuters

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(CNN)

To Preserve Jobs, America's Employers May Have to Get Creative

Manager Flory Ramirez waits for customers as restaurants are reopened following the lifting of some restrictions in Houston, Texas, May 1, 2020

Photo by Go Nakamura/Reuters

by Jason Michael Ward

May 26, 2020

With about 38.6 million Americans filing for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits since the end of February, it is clear that COVID-19 has turned the world of work upside down. There has been no clear signal that the economic damage will end any time soon, either. As businesses reopen across the country, surviving employers may find themselves needing to cut even more jobs due to the financial strain.

Millions more employees who are counting on returning to work may lose their paychecks and face the deterioration of job-related skills the longer they remain at home. Employers, in turn, could face further declines in productivity related to the disruption of their existing workforce, increased unemployment insurance costs and the loss of qualified employees who may find jobs elsewhere before they can be recalled…

The remainder of this commentary is available at cnn.com


Jason Ward is an associate economist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation.

This commentary originally appeared on CNN on May 26, 2020. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.