June 8, 2020 – A new analysis of the labor market finds that people of color and immigrants are bearing the brunt of job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Low-wage, non-essential jobs have been the most impacted. Workers of color and immigrants are overrepresented in these positions, which are the last employment opportunities expected to recover from this crisis. The report, produced by PolicyLink and Burning Glass Technologies, is based on an analysis of data on changes in job openings between March 2 and April 13, 2020, layered with Census data on worker demographics and wages and is the most comprehensive analysis of the economic impacts of the crisis on workers by race, gender, nativity, and occupation to date. The report analyzes labor-market and workforce data for the United States as a whole and ten metropolitan regions: Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Nashville, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
- Low-wage jobs that disproportionately employ people of color and immigrants will likely be the last to recover from the job-market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- People of color, and especially women of color, are also overrepresented in low wage essential jobs.
- Assuming that higher-risk non-essential jobs will experience a longer duration of disruption due to COVID-19, workers of color will be disproportionately impacted.
- Metros with large tourism sectors have been hit particularly hard, while diversified regional economies with strong tech sectors have fared somewhat better.
- The impact on retail and logistics jobs has been uneven across different places.
This report was produced as part of a multiyear, data-driven effort to identify high-impact workforce solutions to advance racial equity at scale, led by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and the National Equity Atlas research partnership between PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, in collaboration with Burning Glass Technologies. The team is working with local leaders in ten U.S. regions to leverage deeply disaggregated data on current and future labor market trends to develop strategies to build equitable career pathways, remove barriers to opportunity, and grow good jobs that increase economic security for excluded and low-wage workers. This work is supported by JPMorgan Chase & Co.