The Recession



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Voters Across the South Are Concerned About Climate Change, Support Robust Investments in Health Care and Community Services

In September 2021, Data for Progress surveyed 2,222 registered voters in the Southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia around a number of progressive policies. (October 2021)

The Rural South: Where Austerity Thrives and Black and Latinx Americans Perish

For decades, government disinvestment in rural southern communities has marginalized Black households, pushing them into poverty and adversely impacting the overall health of our economy. Austerity economics and the racist, ableist, and sexist narratives that uphold it provide cover for policymakers to continue creating barriers that prevent rural Black people from having their survival needs met. (October 2021)

Automatic Stabilizers Protect People and the Economy

Automatic stabilizers are key to addressing the needs of Black and brown people, who have often been the most impacted by crises yet are often the last to receive assistance. Tying stabilizers to indicators like the Black unemployment rate would create more inclusive and effective policies that meet the needs of all individuals. (September 2021)

The Impact of Trade on Black Workers

A new Groundwork Collaborative brief highlights new research from Nyanya Browne, Bethel Cole-Smith, and Dr. William Spriggs of Howard University that explores the impact of trade policy on Black workers. The brief outlines how decades of neoliberal trade policies have increased corporate power at the expense of workers’ economic security and the broader economy. Black workers in particular have experienced disproportionate harm, as measured by the change in the share of Black employment, the Black hire rate, and Black earnings. (June 2021)

Room to Run: America Has Ample Fiscal Space — and Should Use it to Tackle Pressing Economic and Climate Challenges

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States faced multiple protracted crises that jeopardized the nation’s economic viability and future prosperity – structural inequality, too few good jobs, a caregiving shortage, and climate change. The American Jobs Plan takes a solid step toward addressing these challenges but there is still a long way to go. This report explains why Congress has ample fiscal space to responsibly pursue such an agenda — and why a failure to use this space actively endangers America’s economic future. (April 2021)

Past Due: How American Housing Policy Leaves Millions Behind

Sammi Aibinder and Dr. Lindsay Owens examine the policies that have contributed to America’s extreme level of housing instability, both in the context of COVID-19 and for decades prior. This ongoing housing crisis is the culmination of two long-standing and interrelated problems: housing unaffordability and the lack of a housing safety net. (March 2021)

Austerity is Bad Economics: Why U.S. Fiscal Conservatism Does Not Hold

Economist Marokey Sawo refutes the typical arguments austerians make about balancing public budgets and reducing existing public debt, and shows why the government must make big, sustained public investments to reduce inequality, attend to people’s material needs, and improve the long-term health of people and the economy. (March 2021)

Rebuilding the Public Sector for Economic Recovery and Resilience

Sara Hinkley, Ph.D explains how decades of public disinvestment at the local, state, and national levels set the country up for a harsh, prolonged, and profoundly unequal recession, which can be remedied with increased government spending that will make the economy more productive and resilient. (March 2021)

How Much Emergency Relief Will it Take to Revive the US Economy?

Dr. Adam S. Hersh and Dr. Mark Paul explain why the federal response must include bold emergency measures — including economic relief upward of $4.5 trillion in the short-term and automatic triggers — to contain the Covid-19 public health crisis and prevent long-term economic damage. (December 2020)

Pushing Back Against Austerity

Suggested talking points for progressives pushing back on common arguments for austerity. (November 2020)

How to Talk about Austerity

The economics of austerity are wrong, racist, and politically unpopular. This messaging guidance highlights the economic case against austerity and for a bold, recovery policy that puts people first. (November 2020)

The State of the Economy Ahead of the Election

These five charts take a closer look at the state of the economy ahead of the 2020 presidential election, assessing real GDP growth, unemployment, underemployment, and the gaps by race and gender in the employment situation. (November 2020)

A Path to TCJA Repeal

This memo lays out how President Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) can be dismantled in a way that lays the foundation for continued progressive tax reform work, raises trillions of dollars of new revenue, and rebalances power in our economy away from wealthy and well-connected. (October 2020)

Pandemic Policy Interventions for an Equitable Economic Recovery

This report and accompanying interactive graphic highlight a number of economic policies that will provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis while also ensuring an equitable recovery. (October 2020)

Promises Unfulfilled: Manufacturing in the Midwest

Research paper co-authored with Michael Shields at Policy Matters Ohio and Andrew Stettner at the Century Foundation examining the state of manufacturing in the Midwest and how Trump trade policies have failed workers there. (October 2020)

Black Women Best: The Framework We Need for an Equitable Economy

This brief explain how centering Black women in US politics and policymaking in the short and long term will bolster immediate recovery efforts, build durable and equitable institutions, and strengthen collective prosperity. (September 2020)

How Trade Policy Failed U.S. Workers — and How to Fix It

This report examines the failures of U.S. trade policy over the past several decades and then focuses on how future trade policy should be reoriented to serve the public good, not wealthy special interests. (September 2020)

Memo: Voters Strongly Oppose Cutting the Incomes of Millions of Americans with Groundwork Action and Data for Progress

Groundwork Action polling with Data for Progress shows that voters strongly support extending expanded UI; would prefer to vote for candidates who support it; and are not persuaded by Republican arguments against continuing enhanced UI were not persuasive. (July 2020)

Blog: Black Women Best with Data for Progress

Janelle Jones writes on Data for Progress' blog about the need for policymakers to center Black women’s needs, especially when thinking through policies for recovery following a recession. Black women are among the last to recover from economic recessions, so ensuring Black women are targeted in economic recovery will ensure everyone is also lifted into prosperity. (July 2020)

Memo: Americans Seeking Further Economic Relief Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic with GBAO and the Roosevelt Institute

Polling with GBAO and the Roosevelt Institute demonstrates that the public is extremely supportive of a variety of progressive policy interventions to help relieve the economic burden of the pandemic and help the economy recover. (April 2020)

Trade Deals Aren't Enough: Fixing the Tax Code to Bring American Jobs Back

This paper lays out how federal tax policy encourages and incentivizes offshoring, failing workers, businesses, and the economy. (July 2020)

COVID-19 and the End of Laissez-Faire Globalization

This paper exposes the flaws in U.S. trade policy that have caused shortages of life-saving medical supplies like masks and ventilators needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 2020)

Unemployed Workers and Benefit "Replacement Rate": An Expanded Analysis

Research memo co-authored with Michele Evermore at the National Employment Law Project assessing the extent to which enhanced unemployment benefits are replacing workers’ full compensation in unemployment. (August 2020)

The Impact of the COVID-19 Recession on the Jobs and Incomes of Persons of Color

Research paper co-authored with Jared Bernstein at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities discussing how monetary and fiscal policy can address disparate economic outcomes by race in the pandemic-induced recession. (June 2020)

Brief: Why the Economic Crisis is Disproportionately Affecting Marginalized Communities

Research brief on the disproportionate impact of the pandemic-induced recession on marginalized communities. (May 2020)

Brief: Four Priorities for Effective and Equitable COVID-19 Legislation for Economic Relief

Research brief on four legislative priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis for an equitable recovery. (May 2020)

Brief: How Can Monetary and Fiscal Policy Help Struggling Workers and Families?

Research brief on how expansionary monetary and fiscal policies can support economic recovery by investing in people, families, and communities. (April 2020)

Community Change: Building Power and Prosperity for Families—Tackling the Childcare Crisis Before the Next Recession

Allegra Baider and Chirag Mehta at Community Change discuss policy proposals for transforming the child care sector in the U.S. (June 2020)

How Trump Administration Trickle-Down Policies Have Sown the Seeds of the Next Recession

Michael Madowitz discusses how Trump-era tax policies, deregulatory agendas, and public disinvestment have precipitated the next recession. (September 2019)

The 2017 Tax Law Amplifies U.S. Economic Vulnerability in the Next Recession

Kim Clausing of Reed College analyzes how the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made American workers and families more vulnerable to the recession. (October 2019)

The Hamilton Project: Recession Ready: Fiscal Policies to Stabilize the American Economy

Fiscal policy proposals compiled by the Hamilton Project for stabilizing the U.S. economy in the face of recession. (May 2019)

Economic Policy Institute: The Next Recession

A collection of resources from the Economic Policy Institute on preparing for and responding to the next recession. (April 2019)

Center for Law and Social Policy: Low Job Quality Leaves Workers and Our Economy Vulnerable to the Next Recession

Pronita Gupta and Tanya Goldman at the Center for Law and Social Policy assess how low job quality across the U.S. economy leaves workers vulnerable to the next recession in this research brief. (September 2019)

Center for Economic Policy and Research: The Rollback of Worker Protections and the Culture of Long Hours Leave Our Economy More Vulnerable to the Next Recession

Dean Baker at the Center for Economic and Policy Research writes on recession policy responses that would benefit American workers in the event of a recession. (September 2019)

Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund: The Trump Administration, Wall Street, and the Next Recession

Marcus Stanley of Americans for Financial Reform discusses how Trump administration's policies have exacerbated corporate concentrations of power and made the U.S. economy more vulnerable to a recession and recovery that favors the wealthy and large corporations. (May 2019)

The Coming Next Recession

A 2-page review of Groundwork partners' analyses in 2019 on the causes of and necessary responses to the looming next recession. (October 2019)

Messaging Matters: Countering Deficit Narratives

Message guidance for progressives on the importance of large-scale public investments and public support for government spending. (August 2020)

Claims that UI Disincentivizes Work are False and Undermine Sound Economic Policy Responses to the Recession

Facts and messaging against the claim that unemployment insurance disincentivizes work. (July 2020)

Congress Must Extend Emergency Unemployment Insurance Now

Key arguments for extending the expanded unemployment insurance provisions in the CARES Act. (July 2020)

Mini-Toolkit: Rebutting Economic Falsehoods

Messaging separating the fact from the fiction when it comes to how the economy works — especially during a recession. (April 2020)

Mini-Toolkit: Neutralizing Divisive Economic Messaging

Messaging to rebut frequently-used attacks on progressive economic proposals and priorities. (April 2020)

Memo: Message Testing Coronavirus Response with Data for Progress

Message testing with Data for Progress highlighting the most effective messages around the President’s responsibility for the public health and economic crises. (April 2020)

Do's and Don'ts: COVID-19 and the Upcoming Recession

Suggested talking points for progressives responding to the pandemic and the root causes of the economic recession. (March 2020)

Recession Training Materials

Groundwork materials focused on how to talk about the economy in the context of COVID-19.

Groundwork Glossary of Economic Terms

A glossary of economic terms, including context and accompanying charts.



Designed for progressive organizers, our popular education kit has everything you'll need to facilitate a session on how to talk about the economy in the context of COVID-19 and the current recession for your community, team, or organization. Once you've filled out the form, you'll get access to an instruction packet (which we strongly recommend reading FIRST), a slide presentation, and additional activity examples — shortly afterward, you'll also receive an email with your own copy of a feedback survey you can send to your audience after you've completed your session(s). We also recommend using the glossary of terms we've made available on this page.