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Washington Post: Dr. David Smith Comments on Coronavirus Unemployment

Public health orders across the nation have caused many businesses to temporarily shut down and to cut costs through layoffs and furloughs. More than 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March and experts are saying the real number of unemployed is much higher. The federal $2.2 trillion relief package, issued at the end of March, expands eligibility of unemployment benefits to self-employed and gig workers. Many of the job losses have come in blue-collar and service sectors, including food services, transportation, retail work and manufacturing. However, white-collar layoffs and furloughs are rapidly occurring each day.

As millions of people are being laid off or furloughed, there are a few things that can be done to help those individuals get a running start once things return to business as usual. David Smith, professor of economics at Pepperdine Graziadio, shares a few tips. First, start dusting off your resume. Though businesses are not hiring during the coronavirus, you would be better off having things prepared for when jobs start to appear. Second, David suggests maximizing your time to improve your skills. “Use the time you have to upskill and prepare for when the country is open for business again. Set aside adequate time for this. Make it your ‘job’ to prepare yourself for your next position.” Read more.