COVID-19

Latinas among those hit hardest by COVID-19 job losses

Meghan McCarty Carino May 14, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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One in five Latinas are now unemployed. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Latinas among those hit hardest by COVID-19 job losses

Meghan McCarty Carino May 14, 2020
One in five Latinas are now unemployed. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images
Share Now on:
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The devastation of the pandemic has cut deep and wide across the economy. Some of the worst job losses so far are among Latinas.

That’s because some of the hardest hit sectors of the economy are dominated by women, and particularly Latinas. Hospitality, retail and health care have all seen big job losses that have left Latinas vulnerable, says Elise Gould with the Economic Policy Institute.

“The unemployment rate for Hispanic women sits at 20.2%,” Gould said. “That’s 1 in 5 Hispanic women are now unemployed.”

That demographic saw the biggest jump in unemployment of any racial or ethnic group over the last two months, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That devastation is compounded by the fact that Latinas were already behind before the pandemic said Agatha So, a policy analyst with the nonprofit UnidosUS.

“Latinas have lower earnings, almost 50% less than white men and 31% less than white women,” So said.

She said Latina mothers are also more likely to be the sole breadwinners for their families.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Which businesses are allowed to reopen right now? And which businesses are actually doing so?

As a patchwork of states start to reopen, businesses that fall into a gray area are wondering when they can reopen. In many places, salons are still shuttered. Bars are mostly closed, too, although restaurants may be allowed to ramp up, depending on the state. “It’s kind of all over the place,” said Elizabeth Milito of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Will you be able to go on vacation this summer?

There’s no chance that this summer will be a normal season for vacations either in the U.S. or internationally. But that doesn’t mean a trip will be impossible. People will just have to be smart about it. That could mean vacations closer to home, especially with gas prices so low. Air travel will be possible this summer, even if it is a very different experience than usual.

When does the expanded COVID-19 unemployment insurance run out?

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March, authorized extra unemployment payments, increasing the amount of money, and broadening who qualifies. The increased unemployment benefits have an expiration date — an extra $600 per week the act authorized ends on July 31.

You can find answers to more questions here.

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