Five Figures Highlighting the Economic Impact of COVID-19

September 9, 2020
Economic Security & Inequality, Recessions

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution has produced a number of policy proposals, essays, and analyses concerning the economic policy response to the COVID-19 recession on topics ranging from food insecurity to the future of business and work to racial economic inequality.

Below you will find five figures, featured in recent Hamilton Project essays and analyses, that illustrate the economic impact of the pandemic and the need for continued policy response.

The first figure illustrates how extraordinarily fast and deep the contraction since March has been compared to past recessions. Additional support is needed to help businesses, workers, and households face the enormous challenges the pandemic and recession will create for years to come.

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The figures below illustrate the large differences in non-employment rates when compared by race and education; they also highlight the disparities in household income and employment status between essential workers and non-essential workers.

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has increased in the United States, particularly in households with young children. The figures below show that the alarmingly high rates of food insecurity experienced since the onset of the pandemic have been substantially higher than those measured during the height of the Great Recession in 2008. In particular, roughly a quarter of Black and Hispanic households with children were food insecure in June.

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