Rutgers scholar Carl Van Horn is available to comment on lessons from the Great Recession of 2007-2009 that can help inform policies for recovery from the ongoing pandemic-driven economic crisis.

“As the U.S. economy struggles to reopen safely and recover, there is much that we do not know or would even attempt to predict. However, it is not too early to consider how to avoid repeating the shortcomings of policy responses during and after the Great Recession,” said Van Horn, coauthor of a new analysis of lessons from the Great Recession that could guide policy responses to the current crisis.

“It is clear that the initial depth of the economic and workforce damage from COVID-19 is far greater than during the Great Recession. In parallel with the Great Recession, the groups of workers suffering the greatest economic harm in the current crisis are minorities, low-wage earners, and individuals with lower education levels. Bipartisan working majorities in the House and Senate powered the rapid and unprecedented responses to the Great Recession and COVID-19. Just as the consensus on responding to the Great Recession unraveled in 2009, the bipartisan approach to responding to the COVID-19 crisis is beginning to crumble. It will be further strained during the 2020 elections.”

The report, a working paper published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity, can be found here.

Van Horn, a widely recognized expert on workforce, human resources and employment policy issues with extensive experience in public and private sector policymaking, is the founding director of Rutgers’ Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, and a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.


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