Briefing

The Pandemic's Impact on Unemployment and Labor Force Participation Trends


Abstract: Following early 2020 responses to the pandemic, labor force participation declined dramatically and has remained below its 2019 level, whereas the unemployment rate recovered briskly. We estimate the trend of labor force participation and unemployment and find a substantial impact of the pandemic on estimates of trend. It turns out that levels of labor force participation and unemployment in 2021 were approaching their estimated trends. A return to 2019 levels would then represent a tight labor market, especially relative to long-run demographic trends that suggest further declines in the participation rate.

Keywords: labor force; unemployment;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Richmond Fed Economic Brief

Publication Date: 2022-04

Volume: 22

Issue: 12