Back to Business and (Re)Employing Workers? Labor Market Activity During State Covid-19 Reopenings

53 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2020 Last revised: 3 Dec 2021

See all articles by Wei Cheng

Wei Cheng

East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) - School of Business

Patrick Carlin

Indiana University

Joanna Carroll

Indiana University

Sumedha Gupta

Department of Economics, IUPUI

Felipe Lozano-Rojas

University of Georgia; Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Laura Montenovo

Indiana University

Thuy Dieu Nguyen

Indiana University Bloomington

Ian M. Schmutte

University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics

Olga Scrivner

Indiana University

Kosali Ilayperuma Simon

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Coady Wing

Indiana University

Bruce A. Weinberg

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2020

Abstract

In the early phases of the COVID-19 epidemic labor markets exhibited considerable churn, which we relate to three primary findings. First, reopening policies generated asymmetrically large increases in reemployment of those out of work, compared to modest decreases in job loss among those employed. Second, most people who were reemployed appear to have returned to their previous employers, but the rate of reemployment decreases with time since job loss. Lastly, the groups that had the highest unemployment rates in April also tended to have the lowest reemployment rates, potentially making churn harmful to people and groups with more and/or longer job losses. Taken together, these estimates suggest that employment relationships are durable in the short run, but raise concerns that employment gains requiring new employment matches may not be as rapid and may be particularly slow for hard-hit groups including Hispanic and Black workers, youngest and oldest workers, and women.

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Wei and Carlin, Patrick and Carroll, Joanna and Gupta, Sumedha and Lozano-Rojas, Felipe and Montenovo, Laura and Nguyen, Thuy Dieu and Schmutte, Ian M. and Scrivner, Olga and Simon, Kosali Ilayperuma and Wing, Coady and Weinberg, Bruce A., Back to Business and (Re)Employing Workers? Labor Market Activity During State Covid-19 Reopenings (June 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27419, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3637720

Wei Cheng (Contact Author)

East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) - School of Business ( email )

Shanghai
China

Patrick Carlin

Indiana University

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Joanna Carroll

Indiana University ( email )

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Sumedha Gupta

Department of Economics, IUPUI ( email )

425 University Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5140
Germany

Felipe Lozano-Rojas

University of Georgia ( email )

Baldwin Hall, 355 S Jackson St
204
Athens, GA 30602
United States
812 9296717 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://felipelozanorojas.com

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Laura Montenovo

Indiana University

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Thuy Dieu Nguyen

Indiana University Bloomington ( email )

Ian M. Schmutte

University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

HOME PAGE: http://people.terry.uga.edu/schmutte/

Olga Scrivner

Indiana University

Kosali Ilayperuma Simon

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Coady Wing

Indiana University ( email )

Bruce A. Weinberg

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

410 Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210-1172
United States
614-292-6701 (Phone)
614-292-3906 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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