Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 26, 2021

Impacts of Jobs Requiring Close Physical Proximity and High Interaction with the Public on U.S. Industry Employment Change During the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Todd Gabe ORCID logo and Richard Florida

Abstract

This paper examines the factors affecting U.S. industry employment change in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results show that the percentage of industry employment in occupations that require close physical proximity has a negative effect on year-over-year employment change in the six months of April through September of 2020. On the other hand, the percentage of industry employment in jobs that involve high interaction with the public has a negative effect on year-over-year employment change in April and May, but not in the months of June to September. These different results related to physical proximity and interaction with the public are driven, in part, by the uneven impacts of COVID-19 on hospitality and retail businesses.

JEL Classification: L83; I18; J24

Corresponding author: Todd Gabe, University of Maine, Schoolof Economics, 5782 Winslow Hall, Orono04469, Maine, USA, E-mail:

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Received: 2021-02-01
Revised: 2021-03-09
Accepted: 2021-04-02
Published Online: 2021-04-26

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