The Latinx community has been hit hard during the pandemic in multiple ways. We make up 24.2% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. and were among the hardest hit communities in California by the Coronavirus. But beyond the toll the pandemic has taken on the health of the Latinx community, the economic consequences are also dire. A new report released by Gusto, a platform for small businesses, shows the cold weather expected to hit next month poses a significant threat to Latinx workers already hit hard by job loss as a result of the pandemic. They are projected to lose 51% of recovered jobs in the retail and leisure & hospitality industries while women are projected to lose 76% in the same industries. The report finds that if retail and leisure businesses are unable to adjust to the coming drop in temperature, 1.4 million jobs that have been recovered in these sectors since April could be lost.
“At the onset of the pandemic in March, Latinx workers experienced the highest unemployment rate due to job losses and pay cuts. During the summer months, job recovery slowed dramatically in the retail, restaurant, and hospitality industries. And now, winter weather poses a significant threat to an already fragile job market for Latinx workers that could erase half the job gains made since April,” Luke Pardue, economist at Gusto, tells Remezcla. “These job losses have long-lasting implications for the broader Latinx community and their families—including long-term, ongoing income instability that makes the road to economic recovery bumpier and longer.”
Moreover, the Latina unemployment rate hit 20.2% in April, and from August to September, Latina unemployment rose monthly, according to a recent report by The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom. Latinas make up almost 15% of the workforce in hospitality alone, the largest of any group, according to the publication.
“Latinas would have been disproportionately impacted by more relief,” Orson Aguilar, principal with UnidosUS told The 19th, not just as workers but as business owners. Latinxs start about one in four new businesses in the U.S., and Latinas own about 35% of them, according to a report by the Small Business Administration.
It’s clear that more aid is needed not only for all Americans who would benefit from another stimulus check, but for Latinx businesses owners in need of a Paycheck Protection Program loan.The coming cold season is just another factor that can worsen the health and economic status of several in the Latinx community unless changes are made soon.