Job losses impact minority and hourly workers most in pandemic

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WASHINGTON D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. unemployment rate has soared to 14.7% — the highest level since the Great Depression. The job losses and pay cuts are impacting minority and hourly workers the most.

37.8 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. Alexander Alonso, with the Society for Human Resource Management, said that loss in jobs and wages is hitting one minority community the hardest.

“61% of Latinos or Hispanics report having experienced a loss of income or a loss of employment,” said Alonso.

That is compared to 30% of African-American and 10% of Caucasian workers who also say they lost work or pay. Hourly workers are also impacted more than salaried employees.

“What’s scary about that is that it’s not just due to unemployment and furloughs,” said Alonso. “It’s also due to reduced hours and reduced salary.”

Alonso said, in all, about $1.3 trillion in income has been lost — or about $8,900 lost per worker — in just two months.

President Donald Trump said he’s optimistic the economy will recover quickly now that states are allowing businesses to open again.

“We’re going to be back next year, maybe even in the fourth quarter. In a few months, we’re going to be back,” said Trump.

But Alonso is not as optimistic.

“Eighteen to 14 months out, there will still be 80% of most major metropolitan areas that will not reach the same level of employment as what they had prior to the pandemic,” said Alonso.

And, he says the impact on small cities and towns could be even greater.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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