Which Sectors are Most Impacted by COVID-19? Estimating Job Losses in California

In California, 3.9 million new unemployment claims were filed over the last seven weeks. The pace of this job loss is unprecedented, as the same number of jobs have been lost in the last seven weeks as were lost during 52 weeks of the Great Recession. Using February’s total labor force figures, more than 20.7% of California’s working population has filed for unemployment since mid-March. The total number of unemployment claims in California is now close to the size of the entire Bay Area workforce, which makes up 21.5% of the state’s labor force.

Using detailed unemployment figures from the State of Washington, the Economic Institute’s new research estimates 590,000 jobs were lost in restaurants and food service sectors over the last seven weeks in California, over 300,000 jobs were lost in specialized health services, such as dentist and physician offices, home health care providers, diagnostic laboratories, and outpatient care centers, and over 200,000 jobs were lost in both construction and administrative support.