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B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1963077


The intensity of the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic were a surprise to many people and functioned as an unexpected disturbance where individuals and businesses were slow to adapt their behavior. This event allows us to explore pre-pandemic structural differences in employment and estimate the public health impacts of these first few months of the pandemic. Novel datasets provided by the Connecticut Department of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Health enable us to link deaths to industry and occupation directly at the individual level. A significant number of working-aged people died from COVID-19, with black and Hispanic populations dying at much higher rates. Linking individual deaths with employment, we find that nearly half of these deaths come from people working non-telework essential jobs. Black and Hispanic non-telework essential workers died at a rate 14-percentage points higher than white individuals employed in these same occupations. © 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2022.

Appl. Econ. Lett. ; : 6, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1459190


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the labour market in ways that have proved difficult for economists to predict. Early studies suggested that labour demand 'collapsed'. This initial forecast proved to be overly alarmist, due to the short-run view. We find that labour demand has rebounded sharply, though an aberration has appeared in recent months. Using what is believed to be a near-universe of online jobs postings, we demonstrate that while total job postings are up 43% from pre-pandemic levels, only one-tenth of that increase is driven by increases in new postings. This suggests that the growth in job postings in the labour market is being driven by jobs that are remaining unfilled. Labour force participation has dropped to levels not seen since the 1970s, while unemployment claims have mirrored other recent economic downturns. Combined, these two measures account for almost all the remaining jobs shed during the recent economic downturn. Analysing the characteristics of these job postings, we find a decrease in required skills and salary compared to the pre-pandemic periods. Individuals appear unwilling to re-enter the labour market, likely because of the quality of jobs currently available, leading to an overall labour shortage.