With coronavirus unemployment benefits set to end, remote work divides workers – Reuters India - Freelance Rack

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Monday, July 20, 2020

With coronavirus unemployment benefits set to end, remote work divides workers – Reuters India

As businesses across the country begin to reopen, 81 percent of American adults are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the spread of COVID-19, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The U.S. Senate will this week begin to debate a fifth coronavirus-response bill. Mongey says their analysis points to the need for continued financial aid for workers who are disproportionately at risk of infection in the future and exposed to unemployment now.

A tale of two workforces

To find out how many people have actually been able to work from home in spite of the lockdowns, Dingel and Neiman compared surveys about work from the O*NET database against government measures, along with metropolitan statistical area data to determine the prevalence of jobs by area and within industries.

They found that 37% of jobs in the United States can feasibly be performed at home. These jobs typically pay more than work that cannot be done from home, and account for 46% of all U.S. wages. They include most office jobs, such as those in finance, corporate management, and professional and scientific services.

The 63% of jobs that cannot easily be performed from home are concentrated in traditional blue-collar sectors, such as agriculture, construction, food preparation, manufacturing and transportation. These jobs tend to pay lower wages, and employees have to be on site and work in close proximity to others, the study found.

With the exception of essential workers, large swaths of these types of workers have filed for unemployment, according to June 2020 data.

Professional, management and technology jobs run the gamut from accountants and architects to lawyers, insurance underwriters and web developers. This group is much more likely to retain the privilege of collecting a paycheck while working remotely, and is based in major metropolitan areas, like New York and Los Angeles.

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