According to Washington Post-Ipsos poll, coronavirus pandemic is majorly affecting some racial and ethnic groups as Hispanics are nearly twice as likely as whites to lose their jobs amid coronavirus shutdown. Since the pandemic started in the United States 20 percent of Hispanic adults and 16 percent of blacks have been reported to be furloughed or laid off as compared to 11 percent of whites and 12 of other races.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Blacks and Hispanics have also been dying at a higher rate than whites due to coronavirus. US companies have ejected more than 20 million jobs in April alone, ADP Research Institute reported. Heidi Shierholz, policy director at Economic Policy Institute said, with job record losses of more than 20 million, the unemployment rate may go up to 16 percent this month.

Hispanics suffered a sharp increase in unemployment rates from last month 4.4 percent to six percent. Hispanic men are the most affected as 22 percent been laid off or furloughed along with 18 percent of the women. Half of the workers who have been laid off applied for unemployment with 28 percent of those received benefits. Around 40 percent of those who didn't get to say they could not finish the application due to busy phone lines, the website didn't work or line got disconnected.

Latino men make more than quarter of workers at leisure and hospitality businesses

Weekly Economic Index
Weekly Economic Index

According to economists Hispanics and Blacks were the first hit by social distancing mandates and stay home orders at places like hotels, restaurants, retail, and construction where more than a quarter of workers are Latinos. Being an expert on wage inequality and unemployment, Shierholz said, "We still have a lot of occupational segregation in this country. Some of it is due to differences in educational attainment. Some of it is due to discrimination and people's access to networks."

Heidi Shierholz, policy director at Economic Policy Institute
Heidi Shierholz twitter/@hshierholz

THE HOUR reported Department of Labor is going to release the first job report of the entire month on Friday. If the overall unemployment rate rises to 16 percent, then the black unemployment rate is expected to touch 30 percent and Hispanic to hit 20 percent. Economist says that white families were able to recover from the Great Recession faster than other races because they bear greater wealth to start with.

"All recessions exacerbate existing inequalities by race and ethnicity - and always hit black and Hispanic workers harder - but this one will be worse. It will be an absolute nightmare," said Shierhloz.