Another 3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, which brought the two-month total to more than 36 million jobless claims.
This tracks when looking at the most recent HPS CivicScience Economic Sentiment Index reading out this week; confidence in the job market is now at the lowest level since the inception of the ESI.
With job loss at this scale, practically everybody knows somebody whose job has been affected by this crisis. CivicScience has been tracking coronavirus impact since cases started increasing in mid-March and the data from the past two weeks unveiled some more information regarding job loss and job outlook.
Job Loss Hits Younger Americans
Again, every age group has been impacted, but we’re observing that younger Americans are hit slightly more so. Of those who reported they are out of work as a ripple effect of the pandemic in the past two weeks, 38% of them are aged 18-34, meaning the youngest American adults are the most impacted by job loss right now.
The data indicate that the economic fallout from job loss will hit younger, perhaps lower-paid people the hardest. Those of the lowest income bracket (earning <$35k annually) are the group who over-index in being out of work as a result of the crisis. Of course, it would be remiss to not mention that all income brackets are impacted, but nowhere near the amount as the lowest earners are.
When breaking this down by occupational field, we do see that labor and service make up 33% of those who have reported being unemployed in the past two weeks, but notably those in the professional workforce make up a significant portion as well.
The Future Doesn’t Look So Bright
Younger people report the worst outlook for future new job opportunities, with 56% reporting it will only become more difficult over the next six months. It’s clear that younger Americans, who have been impacted at the highest rate from this crisis in terms of job stability and income, are driving this reading’s lowest new job score.
And ultimately, this age group is also the most worried lately. The mental health impact on this generation as a result of this crisis will likely be studied (by us, and certainly by others) for years and years to come.
Some Good News?
While the job numbers are concerning no matter how you look at them, there is some hope. Reported jobless claims are somewhat starting to recede after the late March / early April peak, and CivicScience tracking indicates this as well. As economies begin to reopen, people will hopefully be working again, driving the overall economy and hopefully the unemployment rate to a better place.