Joblessness hit Hispanic, black women hardest as pandemic peaked

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In March and April, 20.5 million jobs were lost in the U.S., hitting workers who are women of color particularly hard, a report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research shows.

The institute analyzed payroll data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 8. March and April were also when the U.S. saw some of the highest spikes of COVID-19 as the pandemic ramped up worldwide.

The data shows that women lost 11.3 million (55 percent of the total number of jobs lost) higher than men, who lost 9.2 million jobs. The number of jobs lost by women in the one month between mid-March and mid-April was five times higher than the total decline in women's employment during the Great Recession of 2007-09, the report states.

Unemployment rates for women of color exceed that of white women. Hispanic women had the highest rate of unemployment (20.2 percent) from mid-March to mid-April, an increase of more than 300 percent since February.

The rate of unemployment for black women increased to 16.4 percent, up from 4.8 percent in February, an increase of 242 percent.

White women's rate of unemployment was 15 percent from mid-March to mid-April, an increase of 436 percent from 2.8 percent in February.


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