ISSUE 96 | February 18, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Home care industry strained by pandemic
Projections from the PHI National Workforce Center suggest that there will be more than 341,000 unfilled jobs in Pennsylvania’s home health care industry by 2028.

Before the pandemic, home health professionals struggled with issues like low wages, training, transportation, and high turnover.

Now, the responsibility of working with vulnerable populations during COVID-19 has added new pressures to the job. 

PA struggles with vaccine rollout to Latino communities
The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Pennsylvania has largely been localized, with healthcare providers and pharmacies responsible for scheduling vaccinations with their patients.

This approach has left some groups at a disadvantage.

There has been limited outreach to people who do not speak English, and translated information from the Department of Health has not been updated to reflect current eligibility requirements. 

Local students in health care help during pandemic
Students preparing for careers in health care have been volunteering to work the front lines of the pandemic in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Under the supervision of licensed professionals, medical and nursing students at the University of Scranton are administering vaccines to older adults and healthcare workers, and communicating with patients who are hesitant to receive vaccines. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Workers struggle to find jobs while employers struggle to find workers
The national economy has recovered just over half of the 22 million jobs that were lost during the pandemic, but many employers are struggling to fill openings (the Department of Labor has reported that the number of job openings is at its highest point in five months).

Increased interest in remote work is one of the reasons for this disconnect; many job openings are in industries like construction and warehousing – where in-person work is necessary.  

Eviction filings move forward despite moratorium
The pandemic has not yet resulted in mass evictions in the way many people feared, but eviction filings have been gradually increasing throughout the United States – even after an extension of the CDC moratorium.

Thousands of households are at risk due to gaps and loopholes in federal, state, and local eviction prevention programs.

Advocates are calling on the federal government to strengthen the CDC moratorium and stiffen enforcement to protect tenants’ rights. 

Clinics are key to equitable vaccine distribution
The Biden administration is planning to redistribute COVID-19 vaccines to 250 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) across the country in order to narrow the vaccination gap between white and Black residents.

More than half the people served by FQHCs are racial or ethnic minorities, and about two-thirds live at or below the poverty line. 

Research Spotlight: The Institute recently explored pandemic-related inequities in Northeast Pennsylvania. This research identified disparities in impacts across age, gender, racial, and other demographic groups.

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