Washington Research Council economist Kriss Sjoblom continues to track which industries has experienced the greatest employment impact during the pandemic-induced lockdown. Click through for three charts depicting the job loss, the first by the number of initial claims filed; the second by claims as a share of February employment, and the third, “a scatter plot with claims as a share of February employment measured along the vertical axis and sectors’ the average weekly wages in 2018 (the most recent year for which the average wage is available) is measured along the horizontal axis.”
In his post, Sjoblom confirms the pattern we’ve seen evolving from the beginning of the crisis. The impact has been uneven, falling heavily on businesses with a lot of face-to-face contact and, in many cases, lower-wage workers.
The five sectors with the greatest number of claims are, in descending order, accommodation and food services; health services and social assistance; retail trade; construction; and manufacturing. Together these five sectors accounted for nearly two-thirds of the jobs lost.
As a share of February employment, the results shift slightly.
The total number of private sector claims from March 1 to May 2 is equal to 25.7 percent of private sector February employment. The arts, entertainment and recreation sector has experienced the greatest number of claims relative to February employment (63.7%), followed by the construction (43.9%) and accommodation and food services (43.3%) sectors. For the most recent week, education services is the sector with the greatest number of claims as a share of February employment.
Low wage sectors have had relatively more layoffs than high wage sectors.
That squares with reports showing disproportionate job losses among lower educated workers.
The unemployment rate at least tripled for every major education category. But that still left the rate for those with college degrees in the single digits, at 8.4%. By contrast, more than 21% of those without a high school degree were jobless.