Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Jobs Hit Is Four Times Worse for Low-Paid Workers, Fed Analysts Say

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Updated on

More than one-third of America’s lowest-paid workers were laid off during the pandemic-induced recession, about four times the number of job losses experienced by the top earners, according to new research led by Federal Reserve Board economists.

“We find that more than 35% of all workers in the bottom quintile of the wage distribution lost their job -- at least temporarily -- through mid-April,” economists including the Fed’s Tomaz Cajner, Leland Crane and Ryan Decker wrote in a paper for the Brookings Institution in Washington. “The comparable number for workers in the top quintile was only 9%.”

The findings amplify Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s concern that the economic impact of the pandemic is falling hardest on those with the fewest resources to bear it.