Hit Harder, Recover Slower? Unequal Employment Effects of the Covid-19 Shock
22 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2021 Last revised: 23 Jun 2023
Date Written: January 2021
The destructive economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was distributed unequally across the population. Gender, race and ethnicity, age, education level, and a worker's industry and occupation all mattered. We analyze the initial negative effect and the lingering effect through the recovery phase across demographic and socio-economic groups. The initial negative impact on employment was larger for women, minorities, the less educated, and the young, even after accounting for the industries and occupations they worked in. By November 2020, however, the differential impact between men and women, and between education and age groups has vanished. Across race and ethnic groups, Hispanics and Asians were the worse hit but made up for most of the lost ground, while the initial impact on Blacks was smaller but recovery slower.
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