People of color and immigrants are bearing the brunt of declines in job postings because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report released by Burning Glass Technologies, the National Equity Atlas, and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
The report combined Burning Glass job posting data with Census data on worker demographics and wages to examine the economic opportunities available to people of different races, genders, nativities, and occupations during the pandemic. In addition to a national analysis, the report examines the labor market in 10 metropolitan regions: Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Nashville, San Francisco, and Seattle. Job postings covered the period from March 2 to April 13.
Minority populations have felt the economic impact more acutely, as they are overrepresented in the most severely impacted industries and in lower-wage jobs generally, the report found. The steepest declines in employment opportunities have been in non-essential jobs that pay less than $35,000 per year — and workers of color and immigrants are overrepresented in these low-wage jobs.
These jobs include childcare workers ($10 median wage, 43 percent people of color, 60 percent decline in new job postings) and waiters and waitresses ($11 median wage, 40 percent people of color, 77 percent decline in new job postings). If these jobs are slow to recover from the pandemic, as many economists expect, then people of color and immigrants will also be less likely to get their jobs back.
There is a similar dynamic in low-wage essential jobs, roles not covered by shutdown orders, such as personal care aides and packagers, which are also disproportionately people of color.
Metropolitan areas that are heavily dependent on tourism have seen greater declines in job postings than cities with more diversified economies or tech hubs, the report found. The impact on retail and logistics jobs has been uneven across different places. For example, weekly job postings for driver/sales workers and truck drivers declined by 73 percent in Miami, while they increased by 40 percent in Chicago.
Funded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, this analysis will help inform the firm’s investment decisions – in the face of a shifting labor landscape – as part of their $350 million global investment in the Future of Work.