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Back to Business and (Re)employing Workers? Labor Market Activity During State COVID-19 Reopenings

Author

Listed:
  • 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

Abstract

In the early phases of the COVID-19 epidemic labor markets exhibited considerable churn, which we relate to three primary findings. First, reopening policies generated asymmetrically large increases in reemployment of those out of work, compared to modest decreases in job loss among those employed. Second, most people who were reemployed appear to have returned to their previous employers, but the rate of reemployment decreases with time since job loss. Lastly, the groups that had the highest unemployment rates in April also tended to have the lowest reemployment rates, potentially making churn harmful to people and groups with more and/or longer job losses. Taken together, these estimates suggest that employment relationships are durable in the short run, but raise concerns that employment gains requiring new employment matches may not be as rapid and may be particularly slow for hard-hit groups including Hispanic and Black workers, youngest and oldest workers, and women.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic consequences > Employment and Work

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    Cited by:

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    2. Sapir, J., 2021. "Is Eurozone accumulating a historic lag toward Asia in the COVID-19 context?," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 192-203.
    3. Brochu, Pierre & Créchet, Jonathan & Deng, Zechuan, 2020. "Labour market flows and worker trajectories in Canada during COVID-19," CLEF Working Paper Series 32, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    4. Sumedha Gupta & Kosali I. Simon & Coady Wing, 2020. "Mandated and Voluntary Social Distancing During The COVID-19 Epidemic: A Review," NBER Working Papers 28139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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