The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated millions of American workers. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that in February 2021, as many as 38 million people, including nearly 10 million children, lived in a family where at least one adult did not have paid work in the last week because of unemployment or the pandemic. The impact has been particularly severe for people of color and women. 

These groups are employed in a large proportion of service and hospitality positions — industries that the pandemic’s economic consequences have most negatively impacted. Millions of the jobs that have been lost during the pandemic will not be coming back. 

NLC created this series of resources as part of the Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative (EEMI), a two-year project intended to catalyze municipal action to expand economic mobility for residents while eliminating longstanding racial economic inequities. Through the Initiative, NLC aims to help cities recover and rebuild after the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing strategies that support residents’ economic stability (meeting basic needs) and economic security (stable employment and ability to cover expenses) – and set them on a path to building wealth (ability to save for family’s future). EEMI is made possible by the generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

This brief series is based on research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, though, the findings and conclusions contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Learn more about taking action to expand economic mobility for your residents and visit Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative.