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

With a slow vaccine rollout so far, how has the government changed its approach?

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced changes to how the federal government is distributing vaccine doses. The CDC has expanded coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone 65 and older, along with people with conditions that might raise their risks of complications from COVID-19. The new approach also looks to reward those states that are the most efficient by giving them more doses, but critics say that won’t address underlying problems some states are having with vaccine rollout.

What kind of help can small businesses get right now?

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.

What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?

New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.

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