Black Women are Being Hit Hardest by COVID Unemployment — This Chart Says it All

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May 22, 2024 at 5:41AM UTC
The Economic Policy Institute's (EPI) recent release makes its thesis pretty clear in its headline: "Black workers face two of the most lethal preexisting conditions for coronavirus—racism and economic inequality."
Black Americans make up 22.4% of the nation's COVID-19 deaths, despite only accounting for 12.5% of the population, according to the EPI. Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to live in areas experiencing outbreaks, to have frontline jobs and to be uninsured, while also being less likely to have sick days to manage early symptoms of COVID-19 and cash reserves to pay for treatments. 

These economic differences — which contribute to differing mortality rates — have only been magnified due to unemployment caused by COVID-19, according to the EPI's study. 

Black women have faced an especially large drop in employment; their employment-to-population ratio dropped by 11%. 

In other words, "18.8% of black women workers lost their jobs between February and April," according to the EPI. That's higher than all Black workers taken together (17.8%) and much higher than white workers (15.5%). 
The Economic Policy Institute
The Economic Policy Institute
On top of unhelpful markets, Black women who are looking for jobs face unique challenges while applying and interviewing. Consider reading ways to promote diversity at work without undermining Black women to assist in breaking down those barriers. 

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