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Labour demand weakening during the COVID-19 pandemic in US cities

Stylised facts and factors related to regional resilience

This paper explores patterns of short-term labour demand weakening in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) of the United States and the associated regional factors. The paper considers online job vacancy postings in February-June 2020. The data show that in larger MSAs, online job postings contracted more and the recovery was slower compared to smaller MSAs. Non-tradable service occupations, particularly those involving face-to-face interactions, contracted the most. The regression analysis reveals that different metropolitan characteristics were associated with the initial drop (February-April) and the recovery (May-June) in online job posting. The associations of online job postings with regional characteristics also differed between teleworkable (with high feasibility of performing work duties remotely) and non-teleworkable jobs. Cities with higher share of teleworkable employment had more online vacancy announcements during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published on October 09, 2020