Useful Stats: Impacts of the pandemic on the labor market

Availability of a new data tool developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that during the period surrounding the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was wide variation among the states on the ratio of unemployed persons per job opening.  Michigan peaked at 10.6 unemployed persons for each job opening, followed by Hawaii (10.3) and Nevada (10.2), far above most states, while others like D.C. (1.7) and Nebraska (2.1) and North Dakota (2.2) remained relatively unaffected. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) program developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a monthly survey that collects data on job openings, hirings and separations both on a national and state-level.

New data tool shows distribution of businesses, employment in high-tech sector

The U.S. Census Bureau in February released a new experimental data product designed to better measure the business dynamics of innovative firms (BDS-IF). The new Business Dynamics Statistics of U.S. High Tech Industries provides measures of business dynamics for what the Census classifies as high-tech and non-high-tech industries, defined by science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupation intensity. A Census analysis on the data reveals that high-tech industries are concentrated in five coastal metro areas.

US industries and states show uneven recovery from Covid-19

The 2020 pandemic was unique when it came to changes in the labor market. Unlike in previous recessions, most layoffs from the pandemic were temporary. While employment is back to pre-pandemic levels, the recovery has been uneven across states and industries, leaving some states still with a deficit while others have grown past 2019 levels. Utah, for example, according to an economic commentary by Martin DeLuca and Roberto Pinheiro of the Cleveland Fed, observed employment growth above 6% since 2019, while Vermont remains 6.5 percent below its 2019 average employment. Similarly, while services and sales occupations are down 6% and 7%, respectively, since 2019, the authors found that management and computer and engineering occupations are up 7% and 10%, respectively.

App Economy as an economic development driver? PPI report raises questions

Even employing a “conservative estimate of spillover jobs”, the Progressive Policy Institute’s updated report on employment related to the App Economy works out to just over one job per published application. Total January 2022 employment reported in PPI’s U.S. App Economy Update, 2022, was estimated at 2.564 million jobs. While up 1.7 percent from the August 2020 update, the figure is only nominally higher than the cited 2.1 million apps launched in 2021 alone.

Useful Stats: A full recovery from COVID-induced unemployment?

Between March and April of 2020, the United States saw a massive drop in employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic: from approximately 151 million employees to fewer than 131 million. More than two years since the beginning of the pandemic, surveys suggest a near-complete recovery to pre-pandemic employment levels. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through March 2022 (the most recent final data published by BLS) reveal an average decrease of just 1 percent in employment across the country as whole since February 2020. While the U.S. is approaching full employment recovery at the national level, 36 states and D.C. continue to lag while 14 and Puerto Rico have surpassed their pre-pandemic employment.

Georgetown study argues Employment Social Enterprises significantly mitigate structural workforce issues

The findings from a recent webinar and report suggest that Employment Social Enterprises (ESEs) are significant market-based mechanisms that can address workforce misalignment by supplying employers with skilled workers while increasing economic mobility and addressing structural employment barriers. Business for Impact at Georgetown Universitys McDonough School of Business recently delivered the webinar and report on Jobs for All: Employment Social Enterprise and Economic Mobility in the United States.

Semiconductor shortages dragged down April employment, other takeaways from a dive into the jobs data

The April jobs report, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on May 7, generated considerable attention due to the 266,000 jobs added being far less than anticipated. Contributing to this topline number are quite a few trends moving in different directions, including a severe decline in automotive manufacturing employment — likely driven by the global semiconductor shortage — increasing restaurant and R&D employment, and declines in part-time work. Ultimately, the April employment data suggest a far more complex portrait of the economy than what is being covered in many sources.

COVID’s unique economic impact evident in employment data

Last week not only marked the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the release of updated employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The monthly data shows that the pandemic had a very unusual effect on workers, experienced both as a uniquely-chaotic period of labor force participation, but also as an unprecedented immediate drop in employment. The graphic captures just how chaotic the last year has been. Compared against the trends of the past two decades, it is clear that the COVID-19 recession has, thus far, affected workers very differently than either the brief 2001 recession or the Great Recession.

USCCF calls for a paradigm shift in financing a competitive workforce

At a critical junction for the American workforce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) has launched a new initiative to develop new models for investment in the workforce of the future. Partnering with Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Talent Finance initiative advances a new public-private approach to talent development that is intended  to address the challenges and requirements of the new economy — one that competes on talent. In the wake of the pandemic’s upheaval of the economy, workers are facing greater uncertainty and the prospect of jobs that may not return.

CBO projects high unemployment through at least 2021

New projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of key economic variables reveal an expected sharp contraction in the economy in the second quarter with the unemployment rate projected to average 15 percent during the second and third quarters of 2020 and remaining as high as 9.5 percent by the end of 2021. CBO projects GDP will decline by about 12 percent during the second quarter. Federal debt held by the public is projected to be 101 percent of GDP by the end of the fiscal year, up from 79 percent at the end of FY 2019, but below the all-time high of 106 percent in 1946 following World War II.


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