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Many Californians Who Went Back To Work Are Getting Laid Off — Again

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A closed restaurant at L.A.'s Grand Central Market. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
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California has been on a business reopening rollercoaster, and that means some people are now losing their job for the second time.

Earlier this summer, bars and other businesses were given permission by the state of California to reopen. But then coronavirus cases spiked, and many had to shut down again.

Researchers with the California Policy Lab found in a recent analysis that lately, more than half of unemployment claims are coming from workers who are reopening old claims.

This likely reflects situations in which people were laid off early in the pandemic, then called back to work, and then laid off again.

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People getting laid off twice tend to work in hard-hit industries like food service and retail, said researcher Till von Wachter, a UCLA economics professor.

He told us:

“These are sectors that typically hire low-wage workers. These are workers that are often women, often young workers, often less educated workers, often Black or Hispanic workers.”

Since the pandemic began, 46% of Black workers in California have filed an unemployment claim.

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