Coronavirus Shutdowns Affected Hispanic, Black Employees More than White

Black auto worker (Erik Schelzig / Associated Press)
Erik Schelzig / Associated Press

The shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic hurt Hispanic and African American employees more than white employees, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, released in last Friday’s jobs report.

The report‘s data table show that while white employment fell by 12.7% since February, Hispanic employment fell by 18.5% and black employment fell by 16.3%. (All three groups saw job gains in the positive May report, though the black unemployment rate rose slightly because there were disproportionately more black workers entering the workforce.)

The reason for the racial differences in job losses is likely due to the concentration of different groups in different industries.

Hispanics, for example, represent 17.6% of the total working population. But they represent 27.1% of the employees in the restaurant industry, which was largely shuttered due to the lockdowns. They also represent 37.6% of the employees in the car washing industry, which was also hit hard as people ceased travel for all but essential reasons.

Similarly, black Americans represent 12.3% of the total working population, but 29.0% of employees in barber shops, which were closed down, and 22.1% of the car rental industry, which all but stopped. They also represent  21.9% of the employees of the animal slaughtering industry, which was impacted by coronavirus.

Few of these industries allow remote working.

Democrats and journalists tended to be more enthusiastic about shutting down the economy, with the White House Press Corps repeatedly urging President Donald Trump to criticize Republican-led states, such as Florida, that had not imposed draconian stay-at-home orders.

Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin recently noted: “Job losses have particularly impacted people of color, and a recent national survey by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research found that African Americans and Latinos were more likely to have lost their jobs than whites.”

The USC Dornsife survey, released in April, reported: “People of color, especially African Americans, are more likely to have lost their jobs since mid-March. Nationally, 15% of whites said they had lost their jobs, whereas 18% of Latino and 21% of African Americans reported job losses.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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