Ashley Putnam on breaking down barriers to hiring

Thought leaders share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at Presented by JFF Horizons – See Beyond 2022

Much of the talk in the labor market today is about the efforts to get employers to hire based on skills, not college degrees. While there is some movement, workers without those degrees may not be seeing the benefits yet.

“We are definitely hearing from employers how they are shifting how they hire, how they’re thinking about new and innovative partnerships, even employers starting to launch apprenticeship programs that had never considered that previously,” according to Ashley Putnam, director, Economic Growth and Mobility Project, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

WorkingNation sat down with Putnam at Presented by JFF Horizons – See Beyond 2022 in New Orleans. 

Putnam adds a caveat to that hiring trend. “When we talk to workers, a lot of workers are still not experiencing those shifts. So while employers may not be requiring a college degree on maybe a job advertisement, right, they are still at some point in time, referencing degree holding candidates.”

She believes there are other barriers that are keeping workers from returning to work, including lack of affordable childcare for working mothers.

“This is something we’re really worried about as we see that women and particularly women of color were some of the most impacted at the beginning of this downturn and they are still struggling to get back to work without that access to childcare that gives them the flexibility to choose what kind of job they would like to be in,” says Putnam.

Learn more about Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Learn more about Economic Growth and Mobility Project