Job Search Behaviour in the United States during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted: 11 May 2020

See all articles by Wei-Fong Pan

Wei-Fong Pan

Department of Economics, University of Reading

Date Written: May 9, 2020

Abstract

This study examines the effect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on U.S. job search activity by developing sectoral and state-level job search indices. We document that Covid-19 has a significantly negative effect on job search, and that this effect varies across sectors and regions, being stronger in the other services, the leisure and hospitality sector, the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, the manufacturing sector, and in the West and Midwest regions. We also explore policy effects and observe that they helped reduce the negative effect of COVID-19 on job searches. Our results also indicate that the lower job search activity is more a national, rather than region-specific, phenomenon. Overall, our study suggests that COVID-19 does influence job search activities.

Keywords: COVID-19; Job search; Stay-at-home order; Pandemic; Google trends

JEL Classification: E24; I10; J64

Suggested Citation

Pan, Wei-Fong, Job Search Behaviour in the United States during the COVID-19 Pandemic (May 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596830

Wei-Fong Pan (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

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