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COVID-19 Publications

Diffusion indexes of state and metropolitan area employment changes (03/24/2022)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes eight diffusion index series that measure the geographic dispersion of employment change and are useful in describing the impact of the pandemic and ongoing job recovery. read more »

Consumer expenditures on travel declined sharply from 2019 to 2020 (03/18/2022)

The average household spent about $2,100 on travel in 2019. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this average dropped to $926 for the year, a decrease of 56 percent. Within the travel budget, the sharpest decline—in both dollars and percent terms—was in transportation. read more »

Telework during the COVID-19 pandemic: estimates using the 2021 Business Response Survey (03/15/2022)

Using new data from the 2021 Business Response Survey, this article presents unique estimates of telework patterns observed during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. read more »

Nearly half of establishments that required COVID-19 vaccinations offered incentives (03/04/2022)

COVID-19 vaccinations were required for some or all employees before coming to work onsite at 17.5 percent of U.S. establishments. Among these establishments, 45.9 percent offered vaccination incentives to their employees. Incentives included financial incentives, paid time off, or permitting employees to remain on the clock to get a COVID-19 vaccination. read more »

Employed parents of children under 13 spent more time providing secondary childcare in 2020 (02/28/2022)

Mothers who were employed spent 7.3 hours per day during the pandemic in 2020 providing secondary childcare. Secondary childcare is when parents had at least one child under age 13 in their care while doing activities other than primary childcare. This was up by 1.5 hours per day from 2019. read more »

What the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could mean for the future of IT jobs (02/24/2022)

Before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many IT jobs were already projected to be in high demand over the next decade. The pandemic has made IT workers even more important to the future economy, and the jobs projections for these occupations have increased. read more »

Demographic Changes in Employment during the COVID-19 Pandemic (02/24/2022)

This Spotlight on Statistics compares employment before and during the COVID-19 pandemic for men and women and for different racial and ethnic groups, age groups, and other worker characteristics. read more »

24 percent of establishments increased pay or paid bonuses because of COVID-19 pandemic (02/18/2022)

Nearly one quarter of U.S. private-sector businesses, employing 54 million workers, increased wages and salaries, paid wage premiums, or paid bonuses because of the COVID-19 pandemic. read more »

COVID-19 workplace safety measures to work onsite (02/10/2022)

Fifty-eight percent of U.S. private-sector establishments required face coverings or protective gear for employees while working onsite during the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-four percent of establishments required temperature screenings before employees could enter their workplace, and 17.5 percent required a COVID-19 vaccination before coming to work onsite. read more »

7.8 million workers had an illness-related work absence in January 2022 (02/09/2022)

About 7.8 million workers missed work in January 2022 because they had an illness, injury, or medical problem or appointment, up from 3.7 million in January 2021. About 4.2 million who usually work full time worked part time because of an illness, injury, or medical problem or appointment, up from 1.8 million in January 2021. read more »

Expected pandemic-driven employment changes: a comparison of 2019–29 and 2020–30 projection sets (02/08/2022)

This article examines target-year employment levels across four sets of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry and occupational employment projections, evaluating possible long-term pandemic-induced structural changes to the U.S. labor market. read more »

Unemployment rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives at 7.9 percent in December 2021 (01/26/2022)

The unemployment rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives has declined since April 2020 and was 7.9 percent in December 2021. That rate was still much higher than the rate of 3.9 percent for the overall population. read more »

How did employment change during the COVID-19 pandemic? Evidence from a new BLS survey supplement (01/04/2022)

In an effort to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected labor market experience, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) fielded a short supplemental survey to gather information from its sample members on work and working conditions, among other topics. read more »

15.7 percent of people who worked or looked for work experienced unemployment in 2020 (12/17/2021)

The work-experience unemployment rate (those looking for work during the year as a percent of those who worked or looked for work during the year) nearly doubled, increasing from 8.0 percent in 2019 to 15.7 percent in 2020. This is the highest rate since 2010, when it was 15.9 percent. read more »

People not looking for work because of COVID-19 (11/12/2021)

In October 2021, 7.9 percent of people who were not in the labor force but wanted to work were prevented from looking for a job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was down from 52.6 percent in May 2020. read more »

Employer-reported respiratory illnesses increase nearly 4,000 percent in 2020 (11/05/2021)

There were 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2020, down from 2.8 million in 2019, a decrease of 5.7 percent. read more »

Employment in rail transportation heads downhill between November 2018 and December 2020 (10/27/2021)

This article provides an analysis of the recent employment declines in the rail transportation industry. read more »

America's Recovery: Labor Market Characteristics of People with a Disability (10/19/2021)

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the theme in 2021 is America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion. COVID-19 had a large impact on the labor market for people with and without disabilities. Historical differences between these groups remain largely unchanged during the pandemic and economic recovery. This Spotlight examines changes in labor force characteristics of people with a disability during COVID-19 and the recovery through September 2021. read more »

Educational attainment, employment, and working from home, February–May 2021 (10/08/2021)

The higher their education level, the more likely people born in the years 1980 to 1984 were to work for pay or profit in an average week from February to May 2021. At each level of education, men were more likely to work than women. Both men and women with higher levels of education were more likely to work from home at least some of the time than those with lower levels of education. read more »

Projections overview and highlights, 2020–30 (10/04/2021)

This article presents the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment and output projections for the 2020–30 period. read more »

Time spent in leisure and sports activities increased by 32 minutes per day in 2020 (10/01/2021)

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, people age 15 and older spent 32 minutes more per day in leisure and sports activities than they did in 2019—5.5 hours compared with 5.0 hours. read more »

Applying for and receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the coronavirus pandemic (09/24/2021)

Unemployment insurance during the pandemic improved people’s well-being in areas such as household finances, food security, and mental health. read more »

Measuring consumer price change during economic downturns: a review of assumptions about consumer spending (09/17/2021)

During economic downturns, how do these measures help in analyzing price change, and what can we assume about consumption? This Beyond the Numbers article explores the final C-CPI-U during the Great Recession and the recession that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the article evaluates consumer spending assumptions of the CPI-U and preliminary C-CPI-U during these recessionary periods to highlight challenges of lagged consumer spending data. read more »

Time spent alone increased by an hour per day in 2020 (08/27/2021)

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, people were encouraged to stay at home and practice social distancing. During their waking hours, people age 15 and older spent an average of about 1 hour more per day alone in 2020 (7.0 hours) than they did 2019 (6.1 hours). read more »

Teenage unemployment rate under 10 percent for the third straight month in July 2021 (08/11/2021)

The unemployment rate for teenagers (ages 16 to 19) was 9.6 percent in July 2021, following rates of 9.9 percent in June and 9.6 percent in May. The last time the unemployment rate for teenagers was lower than 9.6 percent was in November 1953, when it was 8.6 percent. read more »

Impact of the coronavirus pandemic on establishments and employment by industry (07/29/2021)

The coronavirus pandemic impacted all sectors of the economy in 2020. Businesses across the country saw their supply chains interrupted, demand for their products and services decline, and government-mandated closures. This Spotlight on Statistics explores the pandemic’s impact across the economy with emphasis placed on varying experiences by industry and employment in those industries. The Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic was conducted from July to September 2020 read more »

Teleworking and lost work during the pandemic: new evidence from the CPS (07/20/2021)

A third of U.S. workers reported teleworking during the coronavirus, and workers in occupations suitable for telework had lower rates of lost work. read more »

Consumer prices up 4.7 percent since February 2020 (07/15/2021)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 5.4 percent, not seasonally adjusted, from June 2020 to June 2021, the largest 12-month advance since the year ended August 2008. Consumer prices increased 4.7 percent from February 2020 to June 2021. February 2020 was the last month before the COVID-19 pandemic began. read more »

Casino hotels had largest employment loss per establishment in 2020 (07/13/2021)

With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, annual average employment fell by about 1 worker per establishment over the year across all private industries in the United States. Casino hotels had the largest decrease among all private industries, losing an average of 263 jobs per establishment. read more »

6.2 million unable to work because employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic, June 2021 (07/08/2021)

In June 2021, 6.2 million people did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks because their employer closed or lost business due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is down from 7.9 million in May 2021 and from 49.8 million in May 2020. read more »

COVID-19 ends longest employment recovery and expansion in CES history, causing unprecedented job losses in 2020 (06/15/2021)

This article examines employment changes in 2020, taking into account the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. read more »

Unemployment rises in 2020, as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic (06/10/2021)

Employment declined and unemployment rose over the year, as the nation battled the COVID-19 pandemic. read more »

Employment declined sharply during COVID-19 pandemic for self-employed Asians (05/28/2021)

Employment fell more sharply for Asians during the COVID-19 pandemic than for other population groups. Comparing average employment levels for the 12 months before the pandemic to the average for the 12 months following the onset of the pandemic (the year ending February 2021), Asian employment declined by 8.2 percent. This was larger than the 7.3-percent decline for the overall population. read more »

Estimating state and local employment in recent disasters—from Hurricane Harvey to the COVID-19 pandemic (04/29/2021)

This article examines how a series of major hurricanes in 2017 and 2018 affected the estimation of state and metropolitan area payroll employment and how lessons learned from these disasters has provided a playbook for producing estimates during the COVID-19 pandemic. read more »

Employee access to sick leave before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (04/23/2021)

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) National Compensation Survey and two BLS supplemental surveys, this article examines changes to sick leave provisions and use before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. read more »

Unemployment rate 3.7 percent for college grads, 6.7 percent for high school grads in March 2021 (04/07/2021)

The unemployment rate edged down to 6.0 percent in March 2021. The rate is down considerably from its recent high in April 2020 but is 2.5 percentage points higher than before the pandemic in February 2020. For those with a bachelor’s degree and higher, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in March, down from a high of 8.4 percent in April 2020. read more »

Workers ages 25 to 54 more likely to telework due to COVID–19 in February 2021 (03/11/2021)

Nearly 1 in 4 people (22.7 percent) employed in February 2021 teleworked or worked at home for pay because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is down from 35.4 percent in May 2020, the first month these data were collected. read more »

Comparing the experiences of essential and nonessential businesses during COVID-19 (03/03/2021)

We use a list of pandemic-essential industries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to classify essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among essential businesses, 16.5 percent were subject to government-mandated closures from July through September 2020. That compares with 31.5 percent of nonessential businesses. read more »

107.5 million private sector workers in pandemic-essential industries in 2019 (02/22/2021)

We have used a list of pandemic-essential industries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to count the number of workers in “essential industries” in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Just before the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2019 the United States had an average annual private employment of 107.5 million in essential industries. read more »

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the input and output prices of the airline and hotel industries: Insights from new BLS data (02/18/2021)

This Beyond the Numbers article examines the impact of COVID-19 on firms in the air travel and accommodation (e.g., hotels) industries using the new input to industry indexes as well as the Producer Price Index (PPI) output price indexes for these industries. read more »

Employment projections in a pandemic environment (02/16/2021)

This article examines the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019–29 employment projections through two alternate scenarios: a moderate impact scenario and a strong impact scenario. read more »

Temporary layoffs remain high following unprecedented surge in early 2020 (02/10/2021)

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States declared a national emergency in March 2020. Unemployment rose by 1.5 million in March, with a large increase in the number of job losers on temporary layoff—that is, those who were given a date to return to work or expected to return to work within 6 months. Before the pandemic, this group accounted for just over one-tenth of the total unemployed but expanded to more than one-fourth in March. read more »

Effects of the pandemic on projected employment in selected industries, 2019–29 (02/05/2021)

How will the pandemic affect employment over the decade? This chart shows differences projected in some industries. read more »

Half of businesses that told employees not to work continued paying them during COVID–19 (01/08/2021)

Since January 1, 2020, about half of U.S. business establishments continued to pay at least some of their employees told not to work due to the COVID–19 pandemic. Larger businesses, those with 500 or more employees, continued to pay at least some of their employees told not to work at a higher rate (62 percent) than smaller businesses (51 percent). read more »

Employment recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (12/29/2020)

This article reviews recent economic research on pandemic-related job losses in the United States in order to understand the prospects for employment recovery. read more »

Changes in consumer behaviors and financial well-being during the coronavirus pandemic: results from the U.S. Household Pulse Survey (12/17/2020)

Using data from the Household Pulse Survey, this article examines pandemic-related changes in consumer spending behavior in August 2020. The article also shows how these changes differed across generations and geography. read more »

60 percent of businesses with average pay less than $20k told some staff not to work due to COVID-19 (12/14/2020)

Many U.S. businesses have changed their operations and employment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since January 1, 2020, 60 percent of establishments in which workers were paid an average annual wage of less than $20,000 in 2019 told at least some employees not to work. This compared with 39 percent of establishments paying an average wage greater than $80,000. read more »

Employment changes by employer size during the COVID-19 pandemic: a look at the Current Employment Statistics survey microdata (10/20/2020)

This article uses microdata from the Current Employment Statistics survey for the private sector to calculate employment changes from February 2020 to August 2020, by employer size. read more »

One-quarter of the employed teleworked in August 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic (09/15/2020)

About 1 in 4 people employed in August 2020 teleworked or worked from home for pay because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 24 percent of workers who teleworked in August was down from 35 percent in May, the first month these data were collected. read more »

Essential work: Employment and outlook in occupations that protect and provide (09/04/2020)

Some workers continue to provide products and services during times of emergency or crisis. Take a closer look at 30 of the occupations in which they work. read more »

Receipt and use of stimulus payments in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic (08/31/2020)

This is a first look at results from the stimulus payments questions, including information on changes in spending patterns due to the stimulus payments as well as shelter-in-place and lockdown orders. read more »

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food price indexes and data collection (08/11/2020)

This article describes the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on price changes for food categories within the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics import/export price indexes, producer price indexes, and consumer price indexes. In addition, the article assesses the pandemic’s impact on price data collection efforts. Safety precautions established during the pandemic created data collection challenges for some price indexes more than others. read more »

Geographic impact of COVID-19 in BLS surveys by industry (08/07/2020)

The local spread of coronavirus-19 has disproportionally affected employment across industries. read more »

Contact tracer (07/27/2020)

Epidemiologist Palak Panchal is on the front lines of helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. read more »

Ability to work from home: evidence from two surveys and implications for the labor market in the COVID-19 pandemic (06/24/2020)

This article examines the relationship between workers’ ability to work at home, as captured in job characteristics measured by the Occupational Information Network, and the actual incidence of working at home, as measured by the American Time Use Survey and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. read more »

Demographics, earnings, and family characteristics of workers in sectors initially affected by COVID-19 shutdowns (06/05/2020)

Workers in the highly exposed industries and their families were disproportionally affected by COVID-19 pandemic. read more »

How many workers are employed in sectors directly affected by COVID-19 shutdowns, where do they work, and how much do they earn? (04/16/2020)

This article examines the labor market impacts of establishment shutdowns implemented in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). read more »