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

ABSTRACT

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.

2.
Meatpacking working conditions and the spread of COVID ; 19(31), 2021.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-1529377

ABSTRACT

This preliminary analysis explores how working conditions in meatpacking plants might have contributed to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) was used to construct a set of industry-level working condition variables and compare meatpacking to the sample of other manufacturing industries in our comparison group. This novel approach showed that proximity to others in the meatpacking industry is likely the main factor that influenced the spread of COVID-19, nearly three standard deviations higher in meatpacking than our comparison sample of other manufacturing industries. Overall exposure to disease was also found to be 2.5 standard deviations higher in the meatpacking industry compared to other manufacturing industries. Subsequently, we performed a county-level analysis on COVID-19 spread, comparing rural counties that have a large number of meatpacking plants to other nonmetropolitan counties that were dependent on a single manufacturing industry, using the time frame of mid-March to mid-September of 2020. Data analysis begins in mid-March since confirmed cases became national in scope at this point. In mid-April 2020, COVID-19 cases in meatpacking-dependent rural counties rose to nearly 10 times the number in comparison to rural counties dependent on other single manufacturing industries. This difference disappears completely by mid-July, driven by a reduction in COVID-19 cases in the meatpacking industry rather than an increase in other industries, and holds steady through mid-September. The paper concludes by collating evidence from other studies to infer that the meatpacking industry's increased precautions to protect workers help explain why no difference was observed between meatpacking-dependent counties and our comparison group for the final 2 months of the study period. However, this inference should be viewed as suggestive since it cannot formally test using the data referenced in the working paper.

3.
Appl. Econ. Lett. ; : 6, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1459190

ABSTRACT

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.

4.
Economic Information Bulletin - USDA Economic Research Service|2020. (221):6 pp. ; 2020.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1350736

ABSTRACT

This edition of Rural America at a Glance focuses on recent conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic recession. It is divided into four sections where the nonmetro is compared to its metro counterpart. The first part discusses the spread and severity of COVID-19 across urban and rural areas. The next one focuses on rural healthcare resources and the third is about the consequent effects of the pandemic such as rural unemployment. The last part explains the COVID-19 cases in meatpacking-dependent counties.

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