Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics
Indiana University South Bend
Institutional Affiliation: Indiana University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2020||The Impacts of COVID-19 on Minority Unemployment: First Evidence from April 2020 CPS Microdata|
with Robert W. Fairlie, Kenneth Couch: w27246
COVID-19 abruptly impacted the labor market with the unemployment rate jumping to 14.7 percent less than two months after state governments began adopting social distancing measures. Unemployment of this magnitude has not been seen since the Great Depression. This paper provides the first study of how the pandemic impacted minority unemployment using CPS microdata through April 2020. African-Americans experienced an increase in unemployment to 16.6 percent, less than anticipated based on previous recessions. In contrast, Latinx, with an unemployment rate of 18.2 percent, were disproportionately hard hit by COVID-19. Adjusting for concerns of the BLS regarding misclassification of unemployment, we create an upper-bound measure of the national unemployment rate of 26.5 percent, which is high...