Labor market continues recovery in mid-October
Fewer people are reporting an earnings loss
Despite ongoing pandemic struggles, the labor market continued to improve during the week ending Oct. 17, but at a slower pace than at the start of the recovery, according to Virginia Commonwealth University and Arizona State University economists.
Early October saw 68.4% of working age adults employed, a more than 8% increase compared with April, according to the Real-Time Population Survey conducted by VCU assistant economics professor Adam Blandin and Arizona State associate economics professor Alexander Bick.
“The latest results show that, since April, employment has recovered two-thirds of the way back to the pre-pandemic level,” Blandin said in a statement. “In early October, 68.4% of working-age adults were employed. This is a large improvement compared to roughly 60% employment in April. But the current rate is still far below the 73.8% employment rate from February, just prior to the pandemic.”
Findings from the most recent Real-Time Population Survey also indicate that earnings have increased when compared to the spring. Of those who were employed in February, 37.4% reported an earnings loss in early April, which declined to 27.2% during mid-October. This indicates that “some of the earnings losses suffered early on in the pandemic were temporary in nature,” according to the survey.
The survey also found that only two-thirds of those who were working in February are still working for the same employer, with the remaining third working for a different employer or are not employed.
The Real-Time Population Survey follows the methodology of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, but releases results more frequently. The survey is conducted in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.