New Report: Skills-Based Occupational Transitions for COVID-19 Displaced Workers in the Philadelphia Metro Area

Posted by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on November 24, 2020

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of workers in the Philadelphia metro area employed in retail sales, food service, and office and administrative support occupations lost their jobs or were furloughed. Many are still out of work. As the country responds to dual health and economic crises, displaced workers will confront a central question: Will they be able to return to their previous jobs, or will they need to transition into new lines of work?

New research identifies pathways for COVID-19 displaced workers employed in the hardest-hit occupations to translate their existing skills into higher-paying occupations, some of which were more resilient to the pandemic. The research finds that a transition to a better-paying occupation requiring similar skills is available to half (50 percent) of workers employed in severely declining occupations not requiring a bachelor’s degree. This brief provides concrete examples of these transitions and offers ideas for facilitating occupational mobility for displaced Philadelphians.

Read the report.

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