The average wage that workers earned in the third quarter of 2020 rose 7.4 percent from the previous year — a troubling sign for low-wage earners, and the job market as a whole.
According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people employed dipped by nearly 7 percent year-over-year, hitting 138.5 million at the end of the third quarter. Employment decreased in 355 of the 357 counties the report tracks, and wages rose in 350 of those counties — an indication of “substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries,” according to the Bureau.
Workers in leisure and hospitality have been the hardest hit by the Covid-19 virus, especially in tourist-dependent regions such as Maui County, Hawaii, where a staggering 67 percent of those employed in the industry — or almost 17,000 people — lost jobs. Overall employment there fell by more than a third year-over-year, according to the report.
Of the 10 largest counties tracked, New York suffered the largest employment loss over the year that ended in September, with a nearly 16 percent decrease in employment. Once again, leisure and hospitality took a huge hit, with over 182,000 of those workers losing their jobs.
The city also lost two-thirds of jobs in entertainment, recreation and the arts, erasing a decade of economic gains in an industry which drew millions to the city each year, Bloomberg reported.