The farther we move from the beginning stages of COVID-19, quarantine, and all of the chaos that ensued, the closer we get to unemployment levels reaching pre-COVID rates. Although the employment market has not yet fully recovered, each month, we inch closer to those rates. The September unemployment update outlines each of the markets that have continued to recover. It also indicates that some are still suffering from the peak unemployment rate in April 2020.
The unemployment rate in September 2020 reached 7.9%, trending down from the previous months since peak unemployment in April, with a rate of 14.7%.
However, not all trends in unemployment are positive. The number of permanent jobs lost still rises, with large company layoffs still occurring. We have reached a peak of 3.8 million jobs lost since April.
Many markets are still recovering positively, with a 2.5% growth in leisure and hospitality work, a 0.9% increase in retail jobs, and a 0.5% increase in health care. The only industry that has still seen a negative trend is government work, with a 1% decrease since August.
Unemployment rates pre-COVID were at an average of 3.5%. It is clear we still have a lot of progress to make before reaching full recovery. However, while many of our industries have begun to recover, the impact of COVID on minority demographics is still higher than others. For instance, Black individuals’ unemployment rate still hovers around 12.1%, while for White individuals, it is as low as 7%. Women have a slightly higher rate of unemployment at 7.7% compared to 7.4% for men. The teen population has been impacted the most, with an unemployment rate still nearly 16%.
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