Inequality Is Worse During Pandemic

Center for American Progress: Families of color disproportionately experience the negative social, economic, and mental health effects of the coronavirus crisis

In recent weeks, data have demonstrated that people of color—especially Black and Native American people—are contracting and dying from COVID-19 at far higher rates than their white counterparts. Now, new datafrom the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that families of color are also disproportionately experiencing the negative social, economic, and mental health effects of the coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus crisis has produced stark racial disparities in negative income shocks. Since March 13, an alarming 43 percent of white households have “experienced a loss of employment income.” However, even higher numbers of Asian American, Black, and Hispanic or Latino households have lost income — 49 percent, 54 percent, and 63 percent, respectively. Households of color are also much more likely than their white counterparts to expect “a loss of employment income in the next 4 weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.” Occupational segregation and employment discrimination have long restricted workers of color to jobs with lower pay, fewer benefits, and less security than those of their white counterparts. Without action, the pandemic could deepen and prolong economic hardship in communities across the United States, especially communities of color.

Charles Ellison
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CHARLES D. ELLISON is an award-winning thought leader, political strategist, commentator and advocacy expert with nearly two decades of applied expertise in the arena of politics, public policy, campaigns and elections, crisis management and emerging/digital media strategy.

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