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Labor Demand in the Time of COVID-19: Evidence from Vacancy Postings and UI Claims

Author

Listed:
  • Lisa B. Kahn

    (University of Rochester, NBER and IZA)

  • Fabian Lange

    (McGill University, CIREQ, NBER and IZA)

  • David Wiczer

    (Stony Brook University)

Abstract

We use job vacancy data collected in real time by Burning Glass Technologies, as well as initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims data to study the impact of COVID-19 on the labor market. Our data allow us to track postings at disaggregated geography and by detailed occupation and industry. We find that job vacancies collapsed in the second half of March and are now 30% lower than their level at the beginning of the year. To a first approximation, this collapse was broad based, hitting all U.S. states, regardless of the intensity of the initial virus spread or timing of stay-at-home policies. UI claims also largely match these patterns. Nearly all industries and occupations saw contraction in postings and spikes in UI claims, regardless of whether they are deemed essential and whether they have work-from-home capability. The only major exceptions are in essential retail and nursing, the "front line" jobs most in-demand during the current crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa B. Kahn & Fabian Lange & David Wiczer, 2020. "Labor Demand in the Time of COVID-19: Evidence from Vacancy Postings and UI Claims," Cahiers de recherche 09-2020, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:09-2020
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rebecca M. Blank & David E. Card, 1991. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-1189.
    2. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    3. Adams-Prassl, Abi & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in the impact of the coronavirus shock: Evidence from real time surveys," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    4. Hensvik, Lena & Le Barbanchon, Thomas & Rathelot, Roland, 2021. "Job search during the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    5. Brad Hershbein & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Do Recessions Accelerate Routine-Biased Technological Change? Evidence from Vacancy Postings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1737-1772, July.
    6. Lisa B. Kahn & Fabian Lange & David Wiczer, 2020. "Labor Supply in the Time of COVID19," Cahiers de recherche 06-2020, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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