This analysis identifies labor force trends of recently-arrived refugees, focused on the period after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected employment among recently-arrived refugees. Their unemployment rate increased by 4.2 percentage points in 2020, compared to 2.4 percentage points for the general U.S. population
- Recently-arrived refugee men experienced the largest increase in unemployment from early 2020 to early 2021, at 4.8 percent.
- Among all regions of origin, recently-arrived refugees from the Middle East had the highest unemployment rates in early 2021.
- Recently-arrived refugees cited health conditions and childcare as the main reasons for not participating in the labor force. For refugee women, childcare was the most common reason for not participating in the labor force. For men, health conditions was the most commonly cited reason.