APRIL 15, 2020
U.S. Latino Workforce and Coronavirus
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Over 10 million American workers have filed for unemployment since the Coronavirus lockdowns across the country. A recent analysis by the Pew Research Center found that about 8 million U.S. Latino workers employed in restaurants, hotels, and other service sector positions are at a higher risk of losing their jobs. For example, one-third of all cooks and bakers in America are U.S. Latino, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
of U.S. Latinos say they or someone in their household has taken a pay cut or lost a job due to the coronavirus outbreak
The Pew study found that 49 percent of U.S. Latinos say they or someone in their household has taken a pay cut or lost a job or both, which compares to just 33 percent of all adults since the Coronavirus outbreak. The U.S. Latino unemployment rate in March stood at 6.0%, up from 4.4% in February.
The US Bureau of Labor says that only 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is able to work remotely, and that number drops to only 16 percent among U.S. Latinos. It is not surprising then that an online survey of 500 Americans conducted by ThinkNow the first week of March showed U.S. Latinos expressed the greatest concern about Coronavirus among all cohorts.
Financial Impact Appears Greater for U.S. Latinos
Around two-thirds of employed Hispanic adults (66%) say they would not get paid if the coronavirus caused them to miss work for two weeks or more, including about half (47%) who say it would be difficult to meet expenses during this time. By comparison, 54% of employed U.S. adults overall say they would not get paid if they missed two weeks of work or more
More U.S. Latinos than Americans overall say the outbreak is a major threat to their personal financial situation (50% vs. 34%), day-to-day life in their local community (49% vs. 36%) and their personal health (39% vs. 27%). The vast majority (90%) say the outbreak is a major threat to the U.S. economy, with 42% saying it will cause a recession, 16% saying a depression, and 40% remaining optimistic that it will cause a slowdown but not a recession.
The impact of the Coronavirus shutdown was initially concentrated in tourism, hospitality and related industries. But the Institute for Supply Management says that the manufacturing sector, which had recently begun to recover from last year’s trade war, is contracting again. Data from the employment site ZipRecruiter shows a steep drop in job postings even in industries usually insulated from recessions, like education and health care
Law firms, technology start-ups and other white-collar employers that were initially able to keep workers on payroll and let them work from home are now laying people off as revenue dries up.
The top six sectors of the economy that suffered the greatest job losses in March are the same top six sectors for U.S. Latino employment.
BIGGEST JOB LOSSES IN MARCH
- Leisure and Hospitality
- Health care and Social Assistance
- Professional and Business Services
- Retail Trade
LARGEST U.S. LATINO EMPLOYMENT SECTORS
- Professional and Business Services
- Health & Education
- Leisure & Hospitality
- Retail Trade
U.S. Latino Political Views Differ from Other Cohorts
The Pew Research Center found that U.S. Latinos views differ from other cohorts politically. 62 percent of Latino Republicans say the coronavirus outbreak is a major threat to the health of the U.S. population, compared with 33 percent of Republicans overall. Significant differences also exist between Latino Republicans and Republicans overall on whether they see the outbreak as a major threat to their personal financial situation (42% vs. 29%) and day-to-day life in their community (43% vs. 26%).
of Latino Republicans say the Coronavirus outbreak is a major threat to the health of the U.S. population, compared with 33% of Republicans overall
Latino Democrats and Democrats overall hold more similar views on the threat posed by COVID-19. However, there is a significant gap regarding personal finances with 54 percent of Latino Democrats saying the outbreak poses a major threat on this front, compared with just 38 percent of Democrats overall.
The U.S. Latino Cohort is Critical For America’s Recovery
If unemployment reaches 20% as some are predicting, that will result in a loss of $1.3 trillion to our GDP. Our GDP could then fall from its most recent 2.1% growth rate (already a historic decline) to a negative 7% by end of year. That compares to negative 2.5% in 2009. During that recession it is reported that U.S. Latino families accounted for the largest single decline in wealth of any ethnic and racial group in the country.
Given the dramatic growth in not only the U.S. Latino population, but also its economic force in our country since then, America can’t afford for history to repeat itself. The U.S. Latino cohort accounts for $2.3 Trillion in GDP, and has accounted for over 80% of the net new growth in our labor force, 86% of net new businesses in America during the last decade, over 50% of all home ownership growth, and its real consumption is growing 72 percent faster than that of non-Latinos.
U.S. Latinos are clearly driving the New Mainstream Economy in our country and are absolutely vital to our country’s economic rebound