In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sudden and severe economic downturn. Between February and May 2020, the number of unemployed individuals rose by more than 14 million, resulting in an unprecedented increase in the unemployment rate, which went from 3.8% in February to 14.4% in April. Even though unemployment has declined in recent months, with some individuals returning to work, the rate is still much higher than it was one year ago (7.9% in September 2020 vs. 3.5% in September 2019). Further, as of September 2020, there are 19.4 million persons unable to work due to the pandemic, as well as 6.3 million persons working only part time even though they would prefer to work more.
- Changes in Employment Status and Food Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic