Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Labor Force Trends of Recently-Arrived Refugees During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Publication Date
Lindsay Robbins and Robin Ghertner

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.
Product Type
Research Brief
Men | Women | Working Age Adults | Asian American & Pacific Islanders People (AAPI) | Hispanic, Latino, Latina, & Latinx People | Racial & Ethnic Groups | Immigrants & Refugees
Location- & Geography-Based Data
National Data