Unemployment Claims During COVID-19 and Economic Support Measures in the U.S.
19 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2021 Last revised: 9 May 2022
Date Written: September 7, 2021
Governments want to know how effective COVID-19 anti-contagion policies and implemented economic stimulus measures have been to plan their short-run interventions. We condition on the state of the pandemic to assess the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions and economic stimulus policies on the excess unemployment insurance claims in the United States. We focus on weekly data between February 2020 and January 2021 and motivate our analysis by the theoretical framework of the second-wave SIR-macro type models to build a panel Vector AutoRegressive (VAR) specification. Non-pharmaceutical interventions become effective immediately and impact the labor market negatively. Economic stimulus takes about a month to turn effective and only partially eases the economic welfare losses. Health-related restrictive measures are primarily driven by the state of the pandemic. Economic support policies depend predominantly on the reaction of the labor market rather than the severity of the pandemic itself.
Keywords: Unemployment claims, NPIs, Economic stimulus, Panel VAR.
JEL Classification: C3; C5; J6
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation