Unemployment Rates During the COVID-19 Pandemic: In Brief [Updated October 23, 2020] [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Introduction: "This report discusses recent unemployment rate patterns at the national and state levels using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. The two primary sources are the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. In addition to the usual caveats about estimates (see 'General Data Caveats'), there were additional data challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (see 'COVID-19 Related Data Issues'). The pandemic led to lower survey response rates by businesses and households, and BLS detected an error in their categorization procedures that likely underestimated unemployment early in the recession. This report generally finds the following:  The unemployment rate peaked at a level not seen since data collection started in 1948, in April 2020 before declining to a still-high level in September.  In April, every state and the District of Columbia reached unemployment rates greater than their highest unemployment rates during the Great Recession.  Unemployment during the current recession is concentrated among workers who were last employed in industries that provide in-person services and among young workers, women, workers with low educational attainment, part-time workers, and racial and ethnic minorities."
CRS Report for Congress, R46554
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/