July 9, 2020

Four Key Takeaways from the Unemployment Data

The unemployment rate in June 2020 was 11.1 percent, which represents 18 million people unemployed out of a civilian labor force of 160 million individuals. Although the government releases data on the number of unemployment claims on a weekly basis, it is the monthly report that provides the most detail on the individuals that are unemployed.

This blog uses the monthly report’s supplemental data to provide additional detail on the 13 million individuals that became unemployed between the week of March 15, when states began to issue stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the week of June 7, which was when the latest employment data were collected.

  1. The vast majority of individuals that were unemployed in June became unemployed during the pandemic.

  3. The nation’s youngest workers have been hit hardest by job losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

  5. Non-white workers have suffered some of the worst effects that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the labor market.

  7. Workers with lower levels of education have had a particularly rough time in the labor market during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Much of the current labor market data are based on a survey that faces data collection challenges resulting from the pandemic, and which asked respondents about their employment during the second week of June. As a result, those data only tell part of the story of how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the labor market. Nonetheless, the data available thus far provide a valuable look into where the labor market is heading, and who might need assistance moving forward.

    Related: How Has the Coronavirus Affected the U.S. Economic Outlook

    Image credit: Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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