Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major

Economics BA

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Reagan Baughman


The goal of this paper is to investigate how COVID-19 impacted the US labor market, but more specifically how stay-at-home orders and other COVID policies adversely impacted the United States labor market. Using working papers from other economists, we can see who was so adversely affect and why. Also, how governments COVID policies impact the labor market. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment data, the Center for Disease Controls Case Surveillance Public Use data, and state COVID-19 policies, I created graphs illustrating these factors. I found that when there was a large decrease in cases, those unemployment rates were also falling at the same time. Although when cases increased there were times when the unemployment rate would increase, decrease, or remain the same. It is difficult to disentangle the difference between the effect of fear of the virus and COVID policies on the labor market.