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Tracking Labor Market Developments during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Preliminary Assessment

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Abstract

Many traditional official statistics are not suitable for measuring high-frequency developments that evolve over the course of weeks, not months. In this paper, we track the labor market effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with weekly payroll employment series based on microdata from ADP. These data are available essentially in real-time, and allow us to track both aggregate and industry effects. Cumulative losses in paid employment through April 4 are currently estimated at 18 million; just during the two weeks between March 14 and March 28 the U.S. economy lost about 13 million paid jobs. For comparison, during the entire Great Recession less than 9 million private payroll employment jobs were lost. In the current crisis, the most affected sector is leisure and hospitality, which has so far lost or furloughed about 30 percent of employment, or roughly 4 million jobs.

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  • Tomaz Cajner & Leland Crane & Ryan Decker & Adrian Hamins-Puertolas & Christopher J. Kurz, 2020. "Tracking Labor Market Developments during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Preliminary Assessment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-030, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2020-30
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2020.030
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    File URL: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/feds/files/2020030pap.pdf
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    1. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Michael Weber, 2020. "Labor Markets During the COVID-19 Crisis: A Preliminary View," Working Papers 2020-41, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    2. Erik Brynjolfsson & John J. Horton & Adam Ozimek & Daniel Rock & Garima Sharma & Hong-Yi TuYe, 2020. "COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Early Look at US Data," NBER Working Papers 27344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. John Grigsby & Erik Hurst, 2019. "Aggregate Nominal Wage Adjustments: New Evidence from Administrative Payroll Data," 2019 Meeting Papers 153, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Tomaz Cajner & Leland D. Crane & Ryan A. Decker & Adrian Hamins-Puertolas & Christopher Kurz, 2019. "Improving the Accuracy of Economic Measurement with Multiple Data Sources: The Case of Payroll Employment Data," NBER Chapters, in: Big Data for 21st Century Economic Statistics, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John Grigsby & Erik Hurst & Ahu Yildirmaz, 2019. "Aggregate Nominal Wage Adjustments: New Evidence from Administrative Payroll Data," NBER Working Papers 25628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Tomaz Cajner & Leland Crane & Ryan Decker & Adrian Hamins-Puertolas & Christopher J. Kurz, 2019. "Tracking the Labor Market with "Big Data"," FEDS Notes 2019-09-20-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Tomaz Cajner & Leland Crane & Ryan Decker & Adrian Hamins-Puertolas & Christopher J. Kurz & Tyler Radler, 2018. "Using Payroll Processor Microdata to Measure Aggregate Labor Market Activity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-005, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas & Valletta, Robert G., 2020. "Unemployment Paths in a Pandemic Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 13294, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Betcherman, Gordon & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas & Laliotis, Ioannis & Pantelaiou, Ioanna & Testaverde, Mauro & Tzimas, Giannis, 2020. "Reacting quickly and protecting jobs: The short-term impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on the Greek labor market," GLO Discussion Paper Series 613, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Thuy D. Nguyen & Sumedha Gupta & Martin Andersen & Ana Bento & Kosali I. Simon & Coady Wing, 2020. "Impacts of State Reopening Policy on Human Mobility," NBER Working Papers 27235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Laura Alfaro & Oscar Becerra & Marcela Eslava, 2020. "EMEs and COVID-19 Shutting Down in a World of Informal and Tiny Firms Laura Alfaro, Oscar Becerra y Marcela Eslava," Documentos CEDE 018193, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    5. Carmen Valentina Radulescu & Georgiana-Raluca Ladaru & Sorin Burlacu & Florentina Constantin & Corina Ioanăș & Ionut Laurentiu Petre, 2020. "Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Romanian Labor Market," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(1), pages 1-23, December.
    6. Wei Cheng & Patrick Carlin & Joanna Carroll & Sumedha Gupta & Felipe Lozano Rojas & Laura Montenovo & Thuy D. Nguyen & Ian M. Schmutte & Olga Scrivner & Kosali I. Simon & Coady Wing & Bruce Weinberg, 2020. "Back to Business and (Re)employing Workers? Labor Market Activity During State COVID-19 Reopenings," NBER Working Papers 27419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Betcherman, Gordon & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas & Laliotis, Ioannis & Pantelaiou, Ioanna & Testaverde, Mauro & Tzimas, Giannis, 2020. "Reacting Quickly and Protecting Jobs: The Short-Term Impacts of the COVID-19 Lockdown on the Greek Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 13516, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Laura Alfaro & Oscar Becerra & Marcela Eslava, 2020. "EMEs and COVID-19: Shutting Down in a World of Informal and Tiny Firms," NBER Working Papers 27360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Robert E. Hall & Marianna Kudlyak, 2020. "Unemployed With Jobs and Without Jobs," NBER Working Papers 27886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Sumedha Gupta & Laura Montenovo & Thuy D. Nguyen & Felipe Lozano Rojas & Ian M. Schmutte & Kosali I. Simon & Bruce A. Weinberg & Coady Wing, 2020. "Effects of Social Distancing Policy on Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 27280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market; Economic measurement; Big data; COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C55 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Large Data Sets: Modeling and Analysis
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

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