The onset of the pandemic increased unemployment for Black workers slightly less and lowered their labor force participation far more than for the total labor market — in sharp contrast to previous recessions. Even more significantly, the speed of the recovery from the initial COVID shock has been markedly slower for Black workers than for the labor market as a whole. These findings may have important implications for how the duration of expansionary policy can affect Black workers relative to the rest of the labor market.
This article appeared in the First Quarter 2023 issue of Economic Insights. Download and read the full issue.