Employment and Unemployment
We use WARN data to assess layoffs in four Midwestern states during the current pandemic-induced recession—Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The data come from the advance layoff notices filed under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. We find that 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 across these four states, and workers in mining and leisure and hospitality have been affected the most. Most recently, the number of workers affected by WARN notices has almost returned to prerecession levels. Read More
We estimate trend unemployment rates for Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia, states that span parts of the Fourth District of the Federal Reserve System. Our estimated unemployment rate trend for the District as a whole stood at 5.7 percent in 2020:Q1 compared to a 4.7 percent observed unemployment rate within the District, implying a tight labor market by historical standards. Read More
Gaps in earnings—the annual wage of workers aged 16 and older—matter. While there are some reasons for optimism, there is also a need for ongoing vigilance about how this economy is playing out in real time for minority workers and their families. Read More
Strong Recovery for Whom? Trends in Dayton, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Exemplify Growing Earnings Gaps between Minority and White Workers Present in Many US Regions
The gap in earnings between the typical white and minority worker grew in these two metro areas more than any other metro area during a 10-year period encompassing both the Great Recession and subsequent recovery. The reasons for the growing gap differ, reflecting divergent trends existent across the country. Read the report.
The Columbus metro area continues to be one of the region’s strongest performers, with a low unemployment rate that continues to fall even as the labor force expands, steady employment growth, appreciating home prices, and low consumer debt and credit card delinquency levels. Read More