Analysis by UMass Economists Palladino and Lala Cited by White House in Promoting President Biden’s Economic Plan

A recent analysis of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” economic package conducted by UMass Amherst economists Lenore Palladino and Chirag Lala has been cited by the White House in promotion of the proposal.

Lenore Palladino
Lenore Palladino

Palladino and Lala, who analyzed the plan for the Political Economy Research Institute on behalf of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Center for American Progress (CAP), found that the $400 billion investment in home- and community-based services (HCBS) in the President’s plan would create more than 777,000 good-paying home care jobs across the country over the next decade, which would help address the industry’s severe job shortage. The June report also found that the proposal would ultimately result in approximately 1 million new jobs, including both directly created home care jobs and indirect job creation as those workers spend their new wages in the economy.

The White House distributed a press release on Aug. 18 touting the SEIU and CAP’s new state-by-state breakdown of the plan’s potential benefits, based upon the initial June analysis of Palladino, assistant professor of economics and public policy, and Lala, a doctoral candidate in economics. Massachusetts, for example, which is predicted to receive $1.4 billion in initial annual funds for investment in HCBS, would create an estimated 25,000 new HCBS jobs, raising the total HCBS workforce to over 108,000.

“It is critical to note that the analysis presented here does not include the many other positive economic benefits of investing in paid family and medical leave, childcare and home health care,” Palladino and Lala wrote in their June report. “These include increased workforce stability; increased labor force participation, especially for women; increased health for workers and their families and increased investment in children, who are the workforce of the future. Setting a floor for wages will have a major effect on income gaps for women, people of color and especially women of color, who are disproportionately likely to work in the care sector and/ or to not have access to paid leave.

“Finally, the social and cultural benefits of living in a society that respects the needs of families to have social support as they balance paid employment and caring for their families cannot be measured,” they conclude. “As all families have experienced in the pandemic, the care infrastructure matters.”

The complete report from June can be found on PERI’s website.