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
HTML EMBED:
COPY

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

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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