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Black Communities Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19 Layoffs

Written by on June 5, 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fewer than half of Black people in the labor force were listed as employed in April. This figure reinforces the higher risk for economic impact and job-loss on top of increased rates of COVID-19, of which the death toll is over 100,000 in the US.
The employment data only shows the amount of people employed and unemployed. It does not include people who are unemployed and looking for work.
Experts say COVID-19 is affecting Black communities severely because Black people aren’t represented as much as they should be in essential jobs. Other experts say that they were laid off from areas like the service industry or other professions that cannot be done remotely.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research published a study that included results saying Black workers composed 17% of frontline industries, but only 11.9% of the comprehensive workforce.
The CDC weighed in and is quoted saying: “Health differences between racial and ethnic groups are often due to economic and social conditions that are more common among some racial and ethnic minorities than whites.”
These statistics, along with the recent economic downturn and coupled with systemic racism have made the demonstrations and protests against the murder of George Floyd much more profound and will continue to do so until a change is seen.

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