COVID-19

Studies show financial pain from COVID-19 is not spread equally

Mitchell Hartman Apr 22, 2020
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About 61% of Hispanic households have suffered a partial or total job loss, compared with 44% of black, and 38% of white households. Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Studies show financial pain from COVID-19 is not spread equally

Mitchell Hartman Apr 22, 2020
About 61% of Hispanic households have suffered a partial or total job loss, compared with 44% of black, and 38% of white households. Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images
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Since pandemic shutdowns began last month, 22 million people have filed for unemployment. A new set of weekly numbers comes out Thursday.

The economic pain is wide and deep, but it’s not spread equally. That’s according to two new reports that show the worst job and income losses are happening to black and Hispanic workers.

A Pew Research Center survey asked people if they or someone in their household had lost a job or taken a pay cut due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Hispanic adults are being hit harder in this regard,” said Kim Parker, director of social trends research at Pew.

Parker says 61% of Hispanic households have suffered a partial or total job loss, compared with 44% of black, and 38% of white households.

The JPMorgan Chase Institute has a new report that finds significant racial gaps in people’s financial capacity to deal with sudden job or income loss.

“The kind of cash buffer that households have in their bank account, blacks and Hispanics actually have significantly lower levels of assets,” said Diana Farrell, the institute’s president.

Farrell says that for every dollar of emergency cash a median-income white family has set aside, a Hispanic family has 47 cents, and a black family has 32 cents.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out recently from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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