When the coronavirus pandemic started spreading across the country in the spring, nearly a quarter of all young workers — defined as ages 16 to 24 — lost their jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute. One in four young people just starting out in the workforce had their futures put on hold indefinitely. And they’re not alone: Axios in October reported that the “true unemployment rate” for Americans of all ages is over 26%.
To put a human face on those numbers, the latest episode of Pitchfork Economics features an interview with a young woman who went right from the University of Washington to a career at online travel firm Expedia, which is a major Seattle employer. Under anonymity, she shared her story.
As coronavirus spread across the country, “bookings started dropping,” she says, and Expedia’s revenue quickly followed. Her coworkers became “nervous” as they saw what the pandemic was doing to their business model. “Every couple months there would be another round of layoffs,” she said. “I went through probably four or five before I was finally in one of the rounds this summer.”
When she got the pink slip in August, she says she felt “this weird mix of shock and the opposite of shock.”
“It just dawns on you that you knew it was coming. This was a few months ago and I’m almost still in shock,” she admitted.
(Keep reading at Business Insider.)