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Working Paper No. 963 | July 2020

The Early Impact of COVID-19 on Job Losses among Black Women in the United States

The COVID-19 pandemic seemingly appeared out of nowhere but changed nearly everything. As the pandemic unfolded, industries deemed nonessential were leveled. Many occupations in these industries are low-wage, and women constitute a greater share of America’s low-wage labor force than men. Even as some workers were able to do their jobs from their homes, a high proportion of “essential workers” were African American, other people of color, women, and an intersection of these groups—women of color. The goal of this paper is to closely examine the contours, depth, and causes of COVID-19’s impact on Black women’s employment in the United States through the lenses of both feminist economic theory and stratification economics.

The data appendix for Holder, Jones, and Masterson, "The Early Impact of COVID-19 on Job Losses Among Black Women in the United States," forthcoming in Feminist Economics is available here. This appendix includes detailed tables of major labor force indicators by race and sex; employment by race, sex, and industry and occupation; and unemployment by race and sex for early 2020.
 
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Author(s):
Michelle Holder Janelle Jones Thomas Masterson
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