U.S. Job Losses During the Covid-19 Pandemic by Ethnicity

Effects from the Covid-19 pandemic have been devastating and are proving to be a game-changer in the 2020 world economic setup. Indeed, the pandemic has led to unprecedented crises characterized by massive job losses on a global scale.

In the US, the pandemic has specifically caused huge economic troubles, leading to massive layoffs that have affected people of all races, backgrounds, and classes. Despite this, the emergence of the world-shaking pandemic has particularly taken a toll on the Black, Latino, and women population as well as millions of youth.

Just a few months ago, in April 2020, a staggering 20.5 million jobs were lost in the US. This was unprecedented and came close to the crisis that last occurred in the country in the aftermath of the Second World War. Thus, the US suffered a staggering and record-breaking 14.7% rate of unemployment. When these figures are broken down to reveal the more profound ethnic and racial toll, it makes for a most interesting study.

Minorities Bear the Brunt of Coronavirus Layoffs

A new data compiled in March 2020 clearly illustrates the ethnic and racial disparities that characterize the coronavirus job layouts. In that month, 1.1% of the whites reported a loss of jobs as a direct result of the pandemic. In the same month, Asian Americans reported a 1.7% job loss rate, while the Latino figures stood at 2.1%.

Clearly, from such data, America’s peoples of color have lost their jobs in droves, and the rate of this job loss is significantly higher than that of white Americans.

In April, the unemployment rate hit a peak of 14.2% for the white population. The unemployment rate for the African American segment reached about 16.7%, while the figures for the Latino population stood at a massive 18.9%.

Overall, this data provides a dramatic testimony that the US Latinos, Blacks, and women currently represent the most economically marginalized segment of modern US society. Moreover, a recent study emphasized that younger workers, just like people with low income, are the ones who are most affected by layoffs related to the coronavirus disaster.

US Minorities Face Dilemma in Coronavirus Massive Job Losses

As Andrew Stettner of the Century Foundation recently said, this should not surprise those who are privy to the ordinary goings-on in the US. The scholar noted that the data is a tip of the iceberg in the sense that these minorities typically carry the brunt whenever there is a crisis. He reasoned that since such people are always vulnerable, they become more exposed during a crisis. The current Covid -19 crisis graphically illustrates this.

Consider that in August 2019, many African Americans had reason to rejoice; the unemployment rate stood at just 5.4%. This was a record decline. At this time, the Latinos similarly enjoyed a favorable 3.9% decline.  Despite this, experts noted that disadvantaged workers generally held jobs that placed them on the lower tier of wages and salaries. This meant that this cadre of workers would suffer more in case of a crisis.

Concerning the disastrous economic outcome, the glaring racial and ethnic inequalities were considered as particularly significant. Further, the turn of events proved that the prognosis was strikingly accurate. Yes, when Covid-19 came knocking on the door, thousands of black and Latino workers literally came face-to-face with a sudden uncompromising dilemma.

The Coronavirus Unemployment Effect on Latinos, Hispanics, Women, and Youth

Further illustrating the situation, experts have noted that the Latino population was particularly affected by the adverse conditions that led to the closing down of the hospitality and leisure sectors of the economy.  This sector lost about 77% of job opportunities that supported workers. As soon as the orders to stay at home came around, the travel, transport and tour industries suddenly came to a halt. Worse still, this cadre of people typically work hourly; thus, they do not enjoy paid time off or sick leave benefits. When the world came crumbling down with the corona monster, it was doomsday for them.

At this time, the adult women’s unemployment rate also rose to 15.5%. Unfortunately, many women face similar dilemmas. This is because the women mostly work in the hospitality, service, education, and health care sectors. This portion of the economy lost about 2.5 million jobs in April.

Many youths were also affected. For example, 32% of youths who previously worked in stores, restaurants, and other businesses lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The effect of such layoffs might reverberate for years.

Statistics Don’t Lie

Significantly, new research that was conducted in April pointed out that 44% of African Americans, as well as 61% of Hispanics, reported a loss of job or wages due to the current pandemic. This factor affected them personally or impacted a close relative. It compares with 38% of adult whites.

In March, the statistics stood at 29% for whites, 49% for Hispanics, and 36% for blacks. Also, most Hispanic or black Americans have no access to financial resources that can care for emergencies or other expenses during crises. The research showed that almost 70% of Hispanic adults, 47% of whites, and 75% of blacks admitted that they had no emergency funds to care for expenses for the coming three months as a result of the coronavirus layoffs.

The majority of the Hispanic and black adults also confessed that, since they had no financial reserves, it was impossible to care for such expenses by selling assets, using savings or borrowing money. Further, 51% of Hispanics, 57% of black, and 43% of white Americans said that they needed the government’s stimulus aid package to deal with the effects of coronavirus layoffs.

Minorities in Transport, Tourism and Hotel Sectors Lost Jobs

A survey fronted by the National Domestic Workers Alliance revealed that by early April, almost ¾ of utility workers in the US were already shunted out of their jobs. As noted, people of color dominate such positions. These include those working in salons, hairdressers, home caregivers, and those in the catering services. Around this time, 450,000 people lost jobs in the hospitality and leisure industries that run hotels, cafes, and restaurants. Most workers in the hotel sector are black, Asian, or Latino peoples, while Latinos primarily dominate the restaurants.

Interestingly, the racial and ethnic character of the effects of these layoffs extends to other areas. For instance, the US Labor Department determined that of people who can work from home in the coronavirus season, 37% Asians, 30% of whites, 20% of blacks and 16% of Latinos are likely to make it.

These statistics confirm that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a disastrous effect on the lives of millions of people in the US, leading to massive job losses, particularly among minorities.