Black women and Latinas continue to bear the brunt of the post-Covid economic downturn


Illustration from article titled Black women and Latinas continue to bear the brunt of the post-Covid economic downturn

Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

You may have seen these headlines in the past 24 hours that the 140,000 jobs lost in the United States last month were owned by women. “The US economy lost 140,000 jobs in December,” we read CNN. “All were held by women.” Fortune phrased the news similarly: “Women accounted for 100% of the 140,000 jobs cut by the US economy in December.”

While this is certainly true, viewing these losses as losses for “women” as a whole does not tell the whole story. When still broken down by race and ethnicity, the Data from the National Women’s Law Center behind the news cycle reveals that white women, like men, Actually won jobs in December, which means all those tens of thousands of jobs lost last month were held by women of color.

As reported by CNN, black and Latin women lost their jobs in December, while white women made “significant gains” in the workforce. That doesn’t mean that no white woman has lost their job in the past month, just as it doesn’t mean that no man has suffered job losses in recent weeks. This means that white women as a whole have gained more jobs than they lost in December, while black and Latin women have lost more than they have gained.

This disparity in job losses reflects the broader employment trends of American women, CNN adds. Black women and Latinas are disproportionate employee in industries that have been harder by the economic slowdown of the pandemic, those who tend to run out of things like remote work policies and paid sick leave. Latinas and black women too have the highest unemployment rates among all women nationwide (9.1% and 8.4%, respectively), while white women have the lowest (5.7%).

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