NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Feng Lin

University of Chicago
1126 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020Measuring the labor market at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis
with Alexander W. Bartik, Marianne Bertrand, Jesse Rothstein, Matt Unrath: w27613
We use traditional and non-traditional data to measure the collapse and partial recovery of the U.S. labor market from March to early July, contrast this downturn to previous recessions, and provide preliminary evidence on the effects of the policy response. For hourly workers at both small and large businesses, nearly all of the decline in employment occurred between March 14 and 28. It was driven by low-wage services, particularly the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors. A large share of the job losses in small businesses reflected firms that closed entirely, though many subsequently reopened. Firms that were already unhealthy were more likely to close and less likely to reopen, and disadvantaged workers were more likely to be laid off and less likely to return. Most laid off work...
 
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