Job Disruptions During the First Four Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Their Impacts on Food Security in Arizona
With more than 19 million confirmed COVID-19 cases across the United States1 and over 500,000 in Arizona as of December 2020, the ongoing pandemic has had devastating impacts on local, national, and global economies. Prior to the pandemic (February 2020), based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the unemployment rate in Arizona was 6.5%, compared to 4.9% at the national level.3 Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020), the United States has experienced striking increases in the unemployment rate, reaching 13.2% in April. Similarly, in Arizona, the unemployment rate jumped to over 13.5% in April. The unemployment rates have since declined both nationally and in Arizona but remain higher compared to February 2020. In November 2020 (the most recent data available), the national unemployment rate was 6.7%, while in Arizona the rate was 7.8%—the 10th highest unemployment rate among all U.S. states.