More news on the money front for women of color. While some of it is good (overall), some of it is bad for Latinas and Black women. The good news is that the economy had notable gains in employment in February, adding 379,000 jobs to the market. The not so good news is that women of color, specifically Latinas and Black women, continue to be left behind. The unemployment rate for Black women last month was 8.9%, for Latinas it was 8.5%, while the rate for white women was 5.2%.
Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, told the 19th News, “If there is a perception that the overall economy is doing better while the unemployment rate keeps rising for Black women, for Latina women–we have a huge problem.”
Adding insult to injury is more news that Latinas have suffered a bigger strain of financial pressures during the last year. This is likely due to many factors, for example, first and foremost, the pandemic. The economy suffered greatly in the service industry, retail, and hospitality areas. These are also areas where there is a great concentration of Latin women. Therefore, a huge number of minority women lost their job in the past twelve months.
Pay gaps are also a contributing factor when it comes to personal finances. Less money coming in means there is less to go around. According to Leanin, the average woman earns $0.79 cents for every dollar a man makes. The average Latina woman earns $0.55 cents for every dollar. So, less money coming in translates to less money saved, and therefore causing financial pressures to come harder and quicker. Less money also means that a bigger chunk of income goes to basic necessities.
Additionally, women of Latin descent are more likely to offer up financial support to family during a time of crisis, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. WSJ reported that nearly 30% of affluent Latinas and Black women financially supported friends and family.
For these reasons and more, Latinas and Black women have suffered and will likely continue to do so in the coming months. Unemployment numbers come out every month from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. We will have to wait and see what the March numbers look like and if the recent passing of another stimulus package will affect it.