The primary goal of the shutdowns that began across the nation in March 2020 was to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and to ensure that our healthcare system would be able to cope with the infection rate, need for ICU beds, and a scarcity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and life-saving equipment.
However, a secondary effect of the pandemic has been a slowing of the economy and a precipitous slide into recession. Understanding the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the human- and social services sector requires recognizing the role of this sector as an engine of our economy, in addition to the overwhelming need for its services. The human- and social service sector includes a wide array of economic actors, such as nonprofits, government agencies, and for-profit businesses. Human- and social service programs in the U.S. include fiscal stimulus programs established to automatically stabilize the U.S. economy during recessions.