Based on a US Department of Labor Blog by Janelle Jones.
Black Americans, and Black women in particular, have seen disproportionate economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Half a million Black women left the labor market since January 2020.
Due to longstanding inequities in education and the labor market, Black women workers are overrepresented in low-paying service sector jobs which have been slow to rebound as the country still grapples with the virus. A number of studies have shown that workers in occupations with lower average earnings were much more likely to be displaced by the pandemic than those with higher average earnings.
Focusing on the Needs of Black Women and Other Vulnerable Workers Will Ensure an Inclusive Economy for Everyone
Centering relief and recovery policies around the needs of Black women and other vulnerable workers will ensure an inclusive economy for everyone. This will mean:
- Involving those communities in identifying needs, policy development, solutions, and action.
- Addressing the long-standing history of racial discrimination across our economy – in pay, education, health care, housing, and wealth building – and ensuring everyone can access the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.
According to Janelle Jones, chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor, we can’t resort back to business as usual. We can course correct one of the worst economic downturns in U.S history for all by deliberately improving the economic outcomes of traditionally marginalized groups.