May 1, 2020 / 4:07 PM / a month ago

Fed's Barkin: Help may be needed to prop up labor force, productivity in recovery

WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) - A likely slow recovery from the coronavirus crisis may require programs to bolster the labor force and repair productivity damaged by new requirements for operating businesses safely, Richmond Federal Reserve president Thomas Barkin said on Friday.

“We need to be working on the economy’s recovery rate and its landing point,” Barkin said, noting that even after the health threat passes both the labor force and productivity may be impaired, weighing on U.S. economic growth. “Our response to this crisis is to close schools and day care. We are also threatening traditional forms of elder care...Dual career couples and single parents face daunting challenges. Without more support many risk leaving the work force.”

Reporting by Howard Schneider

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