In this edition of Charts of the Week, research showing: the severity of the pandemic-induced recession; the impact of coronavirus on young workers; and that essential workers are disproportionately Black and Hispanic.
CORONAVIRUS RECESSION: DEEP AND RAPID
The Hamilton Project at Brookings has examined a variety of facets of COVID-19’s impact on America’s economy, from rising food insecurity to job loss. The figure above shows how severe, and how rapid, the decline in employment due to the coronavirus response has been compared to other major recessionary periods. “Additional support is needed,” Hamilton Project researchers say, “to help businesses, workers, and households face the enormous challenges the pandemic and recession will create for years to come.” Get more facts from the Hamilton Project on the economic impact of COVID-19 >>
YOUNGER WORKERS HARDEST HIT IN PANDEMIC RECESSION
Stephanie Aaronson and Francisca Alba look at the labor market experience of young workers during the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the recession officially started in February. One finding, they note, is that while the aggregate unemployment rate increased by 11.2 percentage points between February and April, the rate for youth aged 16-19 increased by nearly 21 percentage points, and about a third of the rise in unemployment during this period occurred in the 16-29 age cohort. Young Black and Hispanic workers have been particularly hard hit. Read their piece to learn more about policies to support younger workers.
ESSENTIAL WORKERS ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY BLACK AND HISPANIC
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a lot of attention to “essential workers,” those frontline employees in grocery stores, delivery services, health care delivery, food preparation, hospitals, and elsewhere whose labor keeps the economy going. In a Hamilton Project essay, Bradley Hardy and Trevon Logan examine the distributional challenges caused by the pandemic–the disproportionate impact of health and economic consequences on Black Americans. “While there are more white workers doing essential work,” they write, “Black and Hispanic workers are disproportionately likely to be essential workers.”