Press Release COVID-19 United States Workers

Blue Collar Jobs Are Not Exempt from Severe Pandemic-Related Losses

June 08, 2020

Contact: Karen Conner, 2022814159Mail_Outline

Washington, DC — The loss of 2,373,000 jobs in April within the blue collar industries of construction, manufacturing, and mining and logging is “largely attributed to the closure of non-essential businesses and decrease in work during the coronavirus pandemic,” explains CEPR data analyst Matt Sedlar in a new analysis in today’s Blue Collar Jobs Tracker

However, some states suffered more blue collar job loss than others.

For instance, in April, California manufacturing jobs dropped 9.1 percent from the previous month, while Arizona manufacturing jobs dropped 1.2 percent from the previous month. The stunning difference may be in the connection between social distancing measures and employment. California took action early on to close businesses and restrict residents’ travel, but Arizona was one of several states that had a flexible definition of essential businesses or no closure measures in place at the time.

Although more research is necessary, Sedlar says it’s clear that there might be a trend, but this report shouldn’t be considered definite evidence. “Looking at the state jobs numbers, however, it’s clear that April was a terrible month for everyone.” 


Blue Collar Jobs Tracker is a project of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) created to take a closer look at the path of job growth in four major blue collar industries: manufacturing, mining, construction, and logging. 

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