VCU study: Labor market continues slow recovery
Employment has recovered to two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels, study shows
The labor market continued to recover during the week ending Oct. 3, but at a slower pace than the start of the recovery, according to a report released Tuesday from economists at Virginia Commonwealth University and Arizona State University.
“The latest results show that, since April, employment has recovered two-thirds of the way back to the pre-pandemic level,” VCU School of Business assistant professor Adam Blandin, who conducts the biweekly Real-Time Population Survey with Arizona State associate professor Alexander Bick, said in a statement.
In late September, the employment rate for working-age adults was 69%, according to the report.
“This is a large improvement compared to roughly 60% employment in April,” Blandin said in a statement. “But the current rate is still far below the 73.8% employment rate from February, just prior to the pandemic.”
The latest survey results also showed that earnings have increased compared to the spring. Among those who were employed in February, 37.4% reported a loss in earnings in early April, which declined to 25.2% in the most recent survey. This indicates that “some of the earnings losses suffered early in the pandemic were temporary in nature,” according to the survey.
The Real-Time Population Survey closely follows the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey methodology, but reports it at a faster pace. The survey is conducted in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.