Race and Economy

There’s a big racial divide over COVID-19 cost concerns, new study finds

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jul 29, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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The study also says nonwhite workers are about twice as likely as whites to stay in a job they don’t like because they’re afraid of losing health insurance during the pandemic. Go Nakamura/Getty Images
Race and Economy

There’s a big racial divide over COVID-19 cost concerns, new study finds

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jul 29, 2020
The study also says nonwhite workers are about twice as likely as whites to stay in a job they don’t like because they’re afraid of losing health insurance during the pandemic. Go Nakamura/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

People of color are almost twice as likely as white people to be worried about how to pay for care if they get COVID-19, according to a new study from Gallup and and the nonprofit West Health.

They interviewed about a thousand people for the study, asking, “How concerned are you about paying for care if you get COVID-19?”

“Among non-Hispanic whites, that level of concern is 32%, so not insignificant. But it jumps all the way up to 58% among nonwhites,” said Gallup’s Dan Witters, senior researcher on the poll.

Witters said respondents in households with annual incomes under $40,000 were three times more likely to be concerned than those with incomes over $100,000.

“Well, over half of those folks in those lower-income households are really worried — they’re really concerned,” he said.

Witters said many of them are African American or Hispanic. One other result of all this COVID-19 cost worry? The study says nonwhite workers are about twice as likely as whites to stay in a job they don’t like because they’re afraid of losing health insurance during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

It’s still the question on everyone’s minds: What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The $600-a-week payments have ended, officially, as of July 31. For now, there is no additional federal pandemic unemployment assistance. House Democrats want to renew the $600 payments. Senate Republicans have proposed giving the unemployed 70% of their most recent salary by this October, when state unemployment offices have had time to reconfigure their computer systems to do those calculations. Until then, jobless workers would just get another $200. But, nothing has been agreed upon yet.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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