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Unemployment in the U.S. rose higher during three months of the coronavirus pandemic than it did during the Great Recession of 2007-2009, according to the Pew Research Center. While unemployment has consistently declined over the past several months and has fallen to about 8.4 percent from a high of 16 percent in May, it is still 4.9 percentage points higher than it was in February of this year.

COVID-related employment changes are not affecting all industries and all individuals equally. So who exactly is feeling the most impact from pandemic-related job market volatility?

Here are a few examples of demographics and industries that are either suffering or succeeding during these challenging economic times, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Teenagers. Unemployment rates fell about 16 percent for teenagers, as opposed to 8 percent for adult men and 8.4 percent for adult women.

Black Americans. The unemployment rate for Blacks is currently about 13 percent, compared to 10.5 percent for Hispanics and 7.3 percent for Whites.

Permanent job holders. While the number of individuals on temporary layoff has decreased, the number of permanent job losers increased by 534,000 to 3.4 million in August.


Retail, hospitality, education, and health service industries. These industries have seen recent notable job gains over the past month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Government workers. Government employment rose in August by 344,000, which the BLS attributes to temporary hiring for the 2020 Census.

Transportation and warehousing. Employment rose in warehousing, storage, ground passenger transportation and truck transportation in August.