With rising concerns that temporary layoffs are turning into permanent job losses, economists worry what this will mean for workers at the bottom rungs of the labor market — those with the fewest skills and the lowest pay.
Workers in low-skill industries like restaurants and bars will need retraining to be hired in sectors like manufacturing, construction or technology, said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
“It’s not easy to switch,” she said. “We are at risk of structural damage to the labor market.”
Ms. Farooqi also warned that the mounting number of school closings would make it difficult for parents — particularly mothers — to re-enter the work force, causing more lasting damage to the labor market.