New UNH Research Finds Inequity in COVID-19 Related Job Loss and Recovery

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Editor’s Note: The researchers will host a live webinar today at 2:30 p.m. to discuss their research and finding. Please register to attend.

DURHAM, N.H.—People of color and women have experienced higher unemployment than whites and men during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women of color and Latina immigrant women have the highest jobless rates, according to new research by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Overall, Black and Latino unemployment remains higher than white unemployment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is placing major challenges on the U.S. workforce,” the researchers said. “In particular, Black and Latino workers, despite suffering from major upticks in unemployment, have been disproportionally overrepresented among workers who cannot work from home, placing them at elevated risk of contracting coronavirus.”

The researchers noted that Blacks and Latinos had about 12% fewer jobs by June than they held in February, compared with 7.5% job loss among whites. “As people of color continue to bear the brunt of the ravage of the pandemic, it exposes profound racial divides in this country that policymakers will need to address with an equity lens,” the researchers said.

The research was conducted by Rogelio Sáenz, a policy fellow at the Carsey School and professor of demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Corey Sparks, associate professor of demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The Carsey School of Public Policy conducts research, leadership development, and engaged scholarship relevant to public policy. They address pressing challenges, striving for innovative, responsive, and equitable solutions at all levels of government and in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

The University of New Hampshire inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top-ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. As one of the nation’s highest-performing research universities, UNH partners with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, and receives more than $110 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.