(WWLP) — Race and gender have been identified as substantial barriers of inequality in the recovery from COVID-19 according to Pioneer Valley Data Dashboard.
As pandemic shut-downs took effect, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts went from among the lowest in the country before the pandemic—2.7%—to ninth-highest—16.4%. This represented a sixfold increase between March 2020 and April 2020. And although the number of unemployment insurance (UI) claims initially soared for workers of all races and ethnicities, the Data Dashboard reports that gaps between white, Black, and Latinx workers grew in two months between the end of April and June 2020.
UI claims for white workers steadily declined, while Black and Latinx claims spiked. Continuing UI claims among Black workers soared 701% at the peak, among Hispanic or Latino workers which grew 639% than among white workers claims that grew 597%.
Continuing in this trend of reported inequality is the gap in claims based on gender. Female claims are reported as climbing 931%, compared with an increase of only 425% among male UI claims.
“It is important for the future of our region to understand how we were impacted, who was impacted, and to track the trends as we recover,” noted Kimberly H. Robinson, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s Executive Director. She said the ongoing data “should serve as a north star for all of us in government pursuing the most inclusive and equitable COVID-19 recovery possible.”
More information on workforce recovery can be found on the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s website.
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