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Racial Inequality: Black Workers Face 'Devastating Job Loss' During The Pandemic, Study Says 

Demonstrators hold up placards protest outside of the White House, over the death of George Floyd in Washington D.C. on June 1, 2020. (JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators hold up placards protest outside of the White House, over the death of George Floyd in Washington D.C. on June 1, 2020. (JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Black Americans are disproportionately hard hit by the current loss of jobs. We explore why and what can be done to reverse this trend.


Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s program on race, ethnicity and the economy. ( @ValerieRWilson)

Darrick Hamilton, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. ( @DarrickHamilton)

William Darity, professor of public policy, African and African American studies and economics and director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. ( @SandyDarity)

From The Reading List

Economic Policy Institute: “ Black workers face two of the most lethal preexisting conditions for coronavirus—racism and economic inequality” — ““We’re all in this together” has become a rallying cry during the coronavirus pandemic. While it is true that COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, the magnitude and nature of the impact has been anything but universal. Evidence to date suggests that black and Hispanic workers face much more economic and health insecurity from COVID-19 than white workers.”

Duke Today: “ Middle Class Not A Level Playing Field For Blacks, New Duke Research Finds” — “The ‘middle class’ can be hard to define. A new report from Duke University suggests that for African Americans it’s simply hard to find — and that’s in the best of circumstances.”

New York Times: “ Black Workers, Already Lagging, Face Big Economic Risks” — “The coronavirus recession has hit black Americans particularly hard, amplifying racial inequalities that may worsen as the economy begins what is expected to be a slow climb back to where it was before the crisis.”

Washington Post: “ The black-white economic divide is as wide as it was in 1968” — “As Black Lives Matter protests grow across the nation over policing, the deep economic inequalities that African Americans face are coming to the forefront.”

Planet Money: “ Racism And Economics” — “This past weekend was defined by protests across the country. Sparked by the death of George Floyd, thousands of people marched in America’s major cities to speak out against racism and police brutality.”

Financial Times: “ African-American economic gap remains despite US expansion” — “The mass protests that have gripped America in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last week have been centred on outrage at police brutality and racial injustice targeting black communities.”

Vox: “ George Floyd and the cascade of crises in black America” — “George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police has become emblematic of the potentially deadly risk of being black in America. But it’s not just his death that illustrates the country’s racial disparities. His life, especially amid the coronavirus, did as well.”

Washington Post: “ Trump, Congress face huge economic decisions over aid as country is rocked by protests” — “The escalating protests across the United States could intensify a political standoff between the White House and Congress over whether to continue emergency economic assistance for millions of Americans.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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