Sectoral Mobility during the COVID-19 Pandemic Sectoral Mobility during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Catherine Cox and Osborne Jackson

This study uses the longitudinal design of the US Current Population Survey to describe sectoral mobility trends for workers before and after the emergence of COVID-19. It finds a small increase in the 15-month rate of workers who switched industries following the onset of the pandemic, likely driven by workers who did not have an unemployment stint following job separation. However, larger changes in sectoral mobility during this time are evident when the authors examine differences across regions, industries, and individuals who are stratified by characteristics such as sex, age, or education. These results suggest that while the COVID-19 pandemic is not associated with a large aggregate change in sectoral mobility, more considerable disaggregated patterns can be found across markets and people.

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