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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. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Labor Markets During the Covid-19 Crisis: A Preliminary View," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7rx7t91p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    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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