Economics/Class Relations

VCU survey shows racial and economic disparities have worsened during COVID-19



The economic gap between white workers and workers of color has widened during the pandemic, as well as the wealth gap between lower income Virginians and those with higher incomes, according to a recent study by Virginia Commonwealth University and research from economists.

A survey conducted by VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, backs other research showing disparities in the economic impact of COVID-19, in part because of differences in remote-work job options among different demographic groups.

The VCU survey conducted in early July showed that a majority of adults in Virginia reported that no one in their household experienced personal financial hardship in the past three months due to the pandemic. However, among Virginians that did have job losses, about 30% of African-American households reported having a member of their household who lost a job, or who was placed on furlough, or had their work pay or hours reduced. That was twice the rate of white households at 15%.

Asian and Hispanic respondents reported job losses, furloughs or pay and hour reductions almost as frequently as African-Americans, at 26% and 23% respectively, the Wilder School reported.


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