[Excerpt] The labor market weakened considerably between late 2000 and the third quarter of 2001. Overall employment growth slowed, large job losses occurred in manufacturing, and the unemployment rate rose by 0.8 percentage point, from 4.0 to 4.8 percent. (See chart 1.) The data presented herein do not reflect the impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11. The labor market clearly had been weakening before the attacks, and those events exacerbated this weakness.
Even prior to the events of September 11, questions had arisen as to who had been adversely affected to the greatest degree. There is little doubt that many workers in manufacturing and related industries had lost jobs, and that those losses affected every major demographic group. But, were higher paid, highly skilled individuals affected to a greater extent than lower paid, less skilled workers?