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Eric Lenz

Mentor Department



This presentation explores the effects of the government-mandated lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic on unemployment and wages in the food industry. Using monthly estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for unemployment rates and hourly wages from 2011 to 2021, I analyze the changes in each variable before and after March of 2020. I regress the unemployment rates and wages on a binomial lockdown variable to determine a quantifiable relationship. To conclude, I show how wage increases are distributed over wage percentiles in both the food industry and all occupations by comparing the change in average hourly wages from before and at the height of the pandemic.

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