March 25, 2021
Statewide labor force data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics portrays clear differences between the early and later stage impacts of the pandemic on North Carolina employment in 2020. Black women bore the brunt of the initial spike in unemployment, from which they have mostly recovered. White women were more likely to leave the labor force entirely in the early stages, a trend which has only partially reversed. Black men experienced a dramatic decrease in total employment during the second half of 2020, which was caused by both increased unemployment and increased non-participation in the labor force.