Jobs and the Future of Work

Young workers hit hardest by COVID-19

Maree Johnson-Baruch (R), a Broadway performer, poses with her family, husband Jason and teenage daughters Audra and Helena, all of whom have recovered from becoming sick with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), outside their home in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., May 5, 2020. Picture taken May 5, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar - RC2MJG9H06L4

The young and uneducated have been hit hardest by COVID-19. Image: REUTERS/Mike Segar

Willem Roper
Editor, Statista
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  • COVID-19 has forced thousands of businesses to shut, destroying millions of job opportunities around the world.
  • Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows how young, uneducated workers have been devastated by the virus, when compared to other demographics.
  • Americans aged 16-24 hit a peak of unemployment percent change of -30 from December to April.

COVID-19 restrictions have caused an unemployment boom in the country that’s rivaled only by the Great Depression nearly a century ago. People from all demographics and age groups are losing their jobs, with some being more affected by the pandemic than others. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows how young, uneducated workers have been devastated by the virus.

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In data from the BLS compiled by the Wall Street Journal, Americans aged 16-24 hit an astounding peak unemployment percent change of -30 percent from December to April. Those without a high school diploma were also very close to -30 percent, while adults aged 25-54 and those with a Bachelor’s degree were below the national average of roughly -15 percent unemployment percent change between December and April.

While unemployment rates have begun to recover over the last two months, young, uneducated workers aren’t recovering as fast as other workers in the country.

Data from the BLS shows that minorities, including Black, Hispanic and female adults, lost jobs at much faster rates compared to white males in the country. Subsequently, minority workers have also had slower recovery times in May and June for returning jobs. Hispanic workers, however, have been the fastest group to recover in the last two months.

Young workers COVID-19
Americans aged 16-24 hit an astounding peak unemployment percent change of -30 percent. Image: Statista
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