Retirement and Financial

25+ Unemployment Statistics: The Aftermath of the Pandemic

Explore the transformative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the US labor market through these eye-opening unemployment statistics, providing insights into the pre and post-pandemic employment landscape.
In This Post:

Unemployment Statistics During the Pandemic

These unemployment statistics show that the COVID-19 pandemic upended the U.S. labor market. Here are the latest statistics that show the condition of the market pre and post-pandemic:

  • U.S. unemployment rate went up from 3.8% in February 2020 – among the lowest recorded in the post-World War II era – to 13.0% in May. (Federal economic research, 2020)
  • The unemployment rate subsided to 6.9% in October 2020. (U.S. Bureau of labor statistics,2020)
  • In October, the number of people on temporary layoff was 3.2 million – it went up to 18.1 million in April. (U.S. Bureau of labor statistics,2020)
  • The official April employment report showed that unemployment increased to 14.7%. (FRBSF, 2020)
  • The coronavirus pandemic placed the nation’s 2.2 million domestic workers—91.5% of whom are women—in a particularly precarious position. (Economic Policy Institute, 2021)
  • According to data from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, 52% of domestic workers said they had no job for the week beginning March 30—and that share increased to 68% the following week. (Economic Policy Institute, 2021)
  • More than 26 million workers—15.5% of the workforce—got hurt directly by the coronavirus downturn. (Economic Policy Institute, 2021)
  • 7.1 million people working in November 2020 had been unable to work at some point because their employer closed the business due to the coronavirus pandemic. They did not receive payment for the hours they didn’t work. (BLS, 2021)
  • About 1 in 4 employees teleworked or worked from home in July because of the coronavirus pandemic. (U.S. Bureau of labor statistics,2020)
  • Younger workers are less likely to telework because of the pandemic than older workers. In July, 12% of the workforce between ages 16 to 24 had teleworked because of the pandemic. (U.S. Bureau of labor statistics,2020)

Unemployment Statistics Before the Pandemic

  • The number of unemployed Americans spiked from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020. (U.S. Bureau of labor statistics,2020)
  • Total nonfarm payroll employment went up by 379,000 in February. (Federal economic research, 2020)
  • During the first months of the COVID-19 breakout, claims were ten times larger than the worst periods of the Great Recession 2007-2009. (FRBSF, 2020)

Unemployment Statistics After the Pandemic

  • The U.S. unemployment rate subsided to 6.2 percent in February 2021, the lowest rate since April’s record high of 14.8 percent. (Tradingeconomics,2021)
  • In February 2021, the number of unemployed people fell to 9.97 million, dropping below the 10 million mark since March 2020. (Tradingeconomics,2021)
  • About 2.2 million people could be unemployed by the end of 2021. That’s 6.5% of the working population. (BBC News, 2021)
  • The ongoing youth unemployment rate is 10.9%. (Statista, 2021)
  • The unemployment rate in the U.S. decreased to 6.2% in February 2021. (Take-Profit, 2021)
  • The Federal Reserve estimated that the economy would return to a healthier 5.0% unemployment rate in 2021. (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 2021)
  • 26.1 million workers — 15.5% of the workforce—are either unemployed or out of work due to the pandemic or employed but experiencing drop-in hours and pay. (Economic Policy Institute, 2021)
  • To get the economy to its previous state, policymakers need to pass roughly $3 trillion in fiscal support, with the first $2 trillion hitting the economy between now and mid-2022. (Economic Policy Institute, 2020)
  • Providing financial help to state and local governments can save millions of jobs over the next year. (Economic Policy Institute, 2020)
  • The economy remains 10 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels. (Economic Policy Institute, 2020)
  • Economic growth for 2021 returns to being simply a function of aggregate demand growth; the economy would be boosted by 3.5%, and 5.1 million more jobs would be added in 2021. (Economic Policy Institute, 2020)

The unemployment statistics show that the labor market went through a drastic change in 2020 and 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic created tremendous labor market disruptions and profound hardship throughout the U.S. and globally.

Written by shortlister editorial team

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