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28.4 percent of unemployed were on temporary layoff in December 2020

January 13, 2021

In December 2020, 28.4 percent of the unemployed were job losers on temporary layoff. These are people who lost their jobs and were given a date to return to work or who expect to return to work within 6 months. This compared with 77.9 percent in April 2020. In December 2020, the largest share of the unemployed, at 38.9 percent, were job losers not on temporary layoff. These are people who permanently lost their jobs or completed temporary jobs. This group made up 11.3 percent of the unemployed in April 2020.

Percent of total unemployed by reason for unemployment, December 2019–December 2020, seasonally adjusted
Month Job losers on temporary layoff Job losers not on temporary layoff Job leavers Reentrants New entrants

Dec 2019

13.5% 32.9% 14.0% 29.8% 9.9%

Jan 2020

11.1 33.4 14.3 31.6 9.7

Feb 2020

13.0 33.6 13.3 31.2 8.9

Mar 2020

28.4 29.8 9.9 24.6 7.3

Apr 2020

77.9 11.3 2.5 6.5 1.8

May 2020

72.9 14.2 2.7 7.7 2.6

Jun 2020

59.8 20.7 3.2 13.2 3.1

Jul 2020

56.6 22.5 3.6 14.2 3.1

Aug 2020

45.8 30.2 4.4 15.6 4.1

Sep 2020

37.0 35.3 6.5 17.0 4.3

Oct 2020

29.4 40.5 6.9 18.3 4.8

Nov 2020

25.9 44.0 6.5 18.4 5.2

Dec 2020

28.4 38.9 6.9 21.0 4.7

Reentrants to the labor force accounted for 21.0 percent of the unemployed in December 2020, compared with 6.5 percent in April 2020. Job leavers, or those who quit or otherwise voluntarily left their previous job and immediately began looking for new employment, represented 6.9 percent of the unemployed, compared with a share of 2.5 percent in April 2020.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "The Employment Situation — December 2020." We also have more charts on employment, unemployment, and the labor force.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 28.4 percent of unemployed were on temporary layoff in December 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/28-point-4-percent-of-unemployed-were-on-temporary-layoff-in-december-2020.htm (visited July 24, 2021).

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