What does this measure?
Unemployment claims (Initial and Continued) by Industry Sector, Race/Ethnicity, and Age Group.
Why is this important?
As compared to the annualized historical unemployment page, the current year's unemployment page exists as a deeper dive into the unemployment experienced by the economy and the community throughout the year's natural cycles and during special events. Additionally, through disaggregating the claims between initial and continued claimants, we can analyze the rebound of unemployment spikes in as real-time as possible. Finally, further disaggregating the claims by race/ethnicity and age allows us to see the disparity even among periods of relative employment rebound.
How is Erie County doing?
Understanding that 2020 has faced the most substantial employment disruptors in decades, some sectors have so far weathered the steep unemployment spike between March and April better than others. Analyzing the rate of Continued Claims, the following sectors still have a long way to go before returning to pre-COVID-19 levels of employment: Accommodation and Food Services, Administrative and Waste Management Services, Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, Educational Services, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, and Other Services.
As unemployment shrinks and a larger percentage of the workforce returns, we find higher representation of populations of color both Black or African American and those of Two-or-More Races in Continued Claims. These segments of the workforce will continue to be affected as the COVID-19 containment measures and social distancing last, and throughout the normalization of the retail and service economies (which feature a higher-than-average workforce of color) while all earners slowly return to normalcy in their shopping, dining, and entertainment habits and discretionary spending.
Like within the Race/Ethnicity analysis, the largest segment of the Continued Claims data comes from the remaining claimants aged 20 to 34. These age groups are in higher concentrations within the previously discussed sectors feeling the slowest return to normalcy during 2020.
About this Data
Data from the PA Department of Labor and Industry (PA DLI) Center for Workforce Information and Analysis (CWIA) as of September 2nd, 2020.