Unemployment Rates During the COVID-19 Pandemic [Updated July 20, 2021]   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the Introduction: "The National Bureau of Economic Research declared February 2020 as the start of the most recent economic downturn, marking the end of the longest period of expansion in U.S. history. This expansion followed the Great Recession (December 2007 to June 2009), a downturn widely considered to be the worst since the Great Depression (August 1929 to March 1933). The unemployment rate rose quickly in March 2020, and by April 2020 it had greatly surpassed its previous peaks observed during and just after the Great Recession. This rise in unemployment was caused by an unprecedented loss of 22.1 million jobs between January 2020 and April 2020. Many individuals left the labor force over this period, and by April 2020 the labor force participation rate declined to 60.2%, a level not seen since the early 1970s. This deterioration in the U.S. labor market corresponded with various advisory or mandated stay-at-home orders implemented in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and other pandemic-related factors affecting U.S. demand. States and localities implemented these orders to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 after it was declared a pandemic disease by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. This report discusses the state of the U.S. labor market using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The three primary sources are the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46554
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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