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Labor Demand in the time of COVID-19: Evidence from vacancy postings and UI claims

Author

Listed:
  • Eliza Forsythe
  • Lisa B. Kahn
  • Fabian Lange
  • David G. Wiczer

Abstract

We use job vacancy data collected in real time by Burning Glass Technologies, as well as unemployment insurance (UI) initial claims and the more traditional Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment data to study the impact of COVID-19 on the labor market. Our job vacancy data allow us to track the economy at disaggregated geography and by detailed occupation and industry. We find that job vacancies collapsed in the second half of March. By late April, they had fallen by over 40%. To a first approximation, this collapse was broad based, hitting all U.S. states, regardless of the timing of stay-at-home policies. UI claims and BLS employment data also largely match these patterns. Nearly all industries and occupations saw contraction in postings and spikes in UI claims, with little difference depending on whether they are deemed essential and whether they have work-from-home capability. Essential retail, the "front line" job most in-demand during the current crisis, took a much smaller hit, while leisure and hospitality services and non-essential retail saw the biggest collapses. This set of facts suggests the economic collapse was not caused solely by the stay-at-home orders, and is therefore unlikely to be undone simply by lifting them.

Suggested Citation

  • Eliza Forsythe & Lisa B. Kahn & Fabian Lange & David G. Wiczer, 2020. "Labor Demand in the time of COVID-19: Evidence from vacancy postings and UI claims," NBER Working Papers 27061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27061
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dingel, Jonathan & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How Many Jobs Can be Done at Home?," CEPR Discussion Papers 14584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. Adams-Prassl, Abigail & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in the Impact of the Coronavirus Shock: Evidence from Real Time Surveys," IZA Discussion Papers 13183, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Murillo Campello & Gaurav Kankanhalli & Pradeep Muthukrishnan, 2020. "Corporate Hiring under COVID-19: Labor Market Concentration, Downskilling, and Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 27208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kim, Seonghoon & Koh, Kanghyock & Zhang, Xuan, 2020. "Short-Term Impact of COVID-19 on Consumption and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Singapore," IZA Discussion Papers 13354, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Mikola, Derek & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "The short-term Economic Consequences of COVID-19: Occupation Tasks and Mental Health in Canada," GLO Discussion Paper Series 542, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. 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.
    5. Adams, Abigail & Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in the Impact of the Coronavirus Shock: Evidence from Real Time Surveys," CEPR Discussion Papers 14665, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Marcén, Miriam & Morales, Marina, 2020. "The intensity of COVID-19 Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions and labor market outcomes in the public sector," GLO Discussion Paper Series 637, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Louis-Philippe Beland & Abel Brodeur & Taylor Wright, 2020. "COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data," Carleton Economic Papers 20-04, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 19 May 2020.
    8. Steffen Juranek & Jörg Paetzold & Hannes Winner & Floris Zoutman, 2020. "Labor Market Effects of Covid-19 in Sweden and Its Neighbors: Evidence from Novel Administrative Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 8473, CESifo.
    9. Christopher Neilson & John Eric Humphries & Gabriel Ulyssea, 2020. "Information Frictions and Access to the Paycheck Protection Program," Working Papers 643, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Ali, Umair & Herbst, Chris M. & Makridis, Christos A., 2020. "The Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Child Care Market: Evidence from Stay-At-Home Orders," IZA Discussion Papers 13261, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Brancatelli,Calogero & Marguerie,Alicia Charlene & Koettl-Brodmann,Stefanie, 2020. "Job Creation and Demand for Skills in Kosovo : What Can We Learn from Job Portal Data?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9266, The World Bank.
    12. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Fakorede, Oluwatobi & Mikola, Derek, 2020. "The Short-Term Effect of COVID-19 on Self-Employed Workers in Canada," GLO Discussion Paper Series 585, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    13. Laura Montenovo & Xuan Jiang & Felipe Lozano Rojas & Ian M. Schmutte & Kosali I. Simon & Bruce A. Weinberg & Coady Wing, 2020. "Determinants of Disparities in Covid-19 Job Losses," NBER Working Papers 27132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Rebecca Brough & Matthew Freedman & David C. Phillips, 2020. "Understanding Socioeconomic Disparities in Travel Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers 192007, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    15. 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.
    16. Sonja Settele & Cortnie Shupe, 2020. "Lives or Livelihoods? Perceived Tradeoffs and Public Demand for Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions," CEBI working paper series 20-17, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).

    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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