Publication Date



Upjohn Institute working paper ; 20-327




We study the distributional consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impacts on employment. Using CPS data on stocks and flows, we show that the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities. Although employment losses have been widespread, they have been substantially larger in lower-paying occupations and industries. Individuals from disadvantaged groups, such as Hispanics, younger workers, those with lower levels of education, and women, have suffered both larger increases in job losses and larger decreases in hiring rates. Occupational and industry affiliation can explain only part of the increased job losses among these groups.

Issue Date

May 2020


This research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Job security and unemployment dynamics


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Cortes, Guido Matias and Eliza C. Forsythe. 2020. "The Heterogeneous Labor Market Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 20-327. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.