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Fewer than half of Black Americans were employed in April, highlighting how coronavirus layoffs have disproportionately affected Black communities

Fewer than half of Black Americans were employed in April, highlighting how coronavirus layoffs have disproportionately affected Black communities
Andy Kierz / Business Insider



Black Americans were disproportionately affected by mass layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.




Fewer than half of Black workers were employed in April, according to the latest government data.




The pandemic also hit Black communities harder than other demographic groups, something that has been compounded by long-standing socioeconomic inequality.




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Unemployment rates for Black Americans had just fallen to record lows amid a booming economy before the coronavirus pandemic, but the resulting layoffs hit them harder than other demographic groups.
Fewer than half of Black people included in the labor force were employed in April, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, further illustrating their greater risk for job losses amid economic upheaval on top of higher rates of COVID-19, which has now killed more than 100,000 people in the US. (Employment data only includes the number of people employed and unemployed. It excludes people who are unemployed and not looking for work.)
The virus has hit Black communities particularly hard because Black people are disproportionately represented in public-facing jobs that were deemed essential or they were laid off from service jobs that cannot be done from home.
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