UNH study finds inequity in pandemic-related job loss and recovery

Black, Latino workers lost jobs at a higher rate, regaining them more slowly, researchers say

Carsey School LogoPeople of color and women have experienced higher unemployment than whites and men during the Covid-19 pandemic, and women of color and Latina immigrants have the highest jobless rates, according to new research by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

Overall, the researchers said, Black and Latino unemployment remains higher than white unemployment.

According to the study conducted by Rogelio Sáenz, a policy fellow at the Carsey School and professor of demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Corey Sparks, associate professor of demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the pandemic “is placing major challenges on the U.S. workforce.” But Black and Latino workers, despite suffering from major upticks in unemployment, have been disproportionally overrepresented among workers who cannot work from home, placing them at elevated risk of contracting coronavirus.”

The researchers noted that Blacks and Latinos had about 12% fewer jobs by June than they held in February, compared with 7.5% job loss among whites.

“As people of color continue to bear the brunt of the ravage of the pandemic, it exposes profound racial divides in this country that policymakers will need to address with an equity lens,” the researchers said.


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