The European Union and the United States have both been deeply affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The two contribute equally to the world economy, each accounting for about 16% of global output. A key difference is that the EU is home to about 100 million more people than the U.S. But Americans have lost significantly more jobs than their EU counterparts during the COVID-19 downturn.
One factor in play is that while countries across the EU deployed significant employment retention schemes, the U.S. focused on stimulus checks and unemployment compensation in lieu of job retention.
Roughly 9.6 million U.S. workers (ages 16 to 64) lost their jobs, based on averages of the first three quarters of 2019 and the first three quarters of 2020. In contrast, only about 2.6 million workers in the EU (ages 15 to 64) lost their jobs over this period, despite having a larger population. Young adults in both regions were more likely to lose jobs during the pandemic, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. government and Eurostat data.