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Coronavirus Recession Is Hitting Women And People Of Color Hardest

Employment for Black and Latina women fell much more sharply than for white men, according to a recent study from the California Budget & Policy Center.
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The coronavirus recession is already much worse than the Great Recession. And it's disproportionately affecting women and people of color in California, according to a new report by the California Budget & Policy Center.

California lost 2.6 million jobs in the first two months of the coronavirus recession. That's twice as muany as were lost over nearly three years during the Great Recession.

But the losses haven't been felt equally. Employment for Black and Latina women fell more than three times as much as employment for white men, and about twice as much as for white women.

Alissa Anderson, a senior policy analyst at the California Budget & Policy Center, says the disparity is likely because of the industries in which women, in particular women of color, tend to work, like leisure and hospitality.

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In L.A. County, that sector lost more than twice as many jobs as any other sector.

Anderson also wonders if school closures play a role in the demographic disparities, though she doesn't have data to support her theory.

"We know that women are often far more likely to be the ones to step back from work to care for children," she said.

Immigrants in California, especially women, have also been more affected by the economic downturn than non-immigrants.

Source: California Budget & Policy Center.

Anderson worries about what will happen when the extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits expires on July 31.

Letting the benefit expire, "when we see much greater job losses for women, Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Latinx Californians and immigrants, would essentially do even more harm to these Californians," she said.

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