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Press Release

After Spiking Amid Shutdowns, Layoffs Ease in Four Midwestern States

The states include Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Cleveland Fed researchers Rubén Hernández-Murillo and Pawel M. Krolikowski use Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act data to assess layoffs in four Midwestern states during the current pandemic-induced recession— Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

In this Economic Commentary, the researchers find the number of workers affected by layoff announcements rose sharply in the second half of March and April, and unexpected changes in economic conditions meant that workers received little advance notice before layoff. Layoff announcements have affected workers in mining, leisure and hospitality the most.

“Most recently, the number of workers affected by WARN notices has almost returned to prerecession levels,” say the researchers. “We find that WARN data complement existing measures of layoffs well.”

Read more: Assessing Layoffs in Four Midwestern States during the Pandemic Recession

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.455.4479