Black Workers & Covid
There is a Black jobs crisis of generational underemployment, unemployment, and stagnant wages in the four Southern California counties, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego, where 64 percent of Black Californians live.
This crisis increases Black Californians vulnerability to preventable diseases, incarceration, and systemic police brutality. The Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably worsened this Black job crisis. Unemployment has reached record highs for everyone, but for Black workers they have fared even worse. Outreaching and providing resources to Black workers has never been more important and crucial for the State of California, and focusing on Southern California will be an important step in understanding the impact and the needs of Black workers.
Third- and fourth-quarter 2020 data finds slow and differing recovery paths across racial/ethnic groups.
While the Hispanic–white ratio remained relatively stable at around 1.6 across both periods, the Black–white ratio continued its rise back toward its historical 2-to-1 trend. That is, while unemployment rates fell for all groups over the third and fourth quarters, Hispanic unemployment remained 60% higher than white unemployment, while Black unemployment rose from 60% higher to 90% higher.
Over 2,000 Black workers have shared their experiences. JOIN US! Support Black workers.
Black Worker Demands
The Southern California Black Workers Hub for Regional Organizing is committed to uplifting the voices of essential workers Essential Stories Project. In partnership with multiple organizations we received over 2,000 surveys from verified Black workers in Southern California and we received the following feedback:
When Black workers were asked what kind of support they need to recover from COVID and feel safe at work, Black Workers Demand:
Affordable Mental Health and Wellness Support
Affordable Mental Health and Wellness Support both in terms of cost, accessibility, and flexibility at work was the number one demand so far.
Direct Financial Support
Direct Financial Support through additional stimulus checks, increased wages, unemployment payments, and/or back hazard pay closely followed.
Basic Needs Support
Basic Needs Support related to affordable housing, rental/mortgage assistance/forgiveness, SNAP/Calfresh access, utility assistance, etc.
Worker Rights Protections
Worker Rights Protections, Resources, Education, and Advocacy related to Paid Sick Leave, PPE availability, accommodations, and scheduling.
Improved Access to COVID-related Health Services
Improved Access to COVID-related Health Services, as well as affordable healthcare in general.
Access to Good Jobs
Access to Good Jobs, training, and assistance (ie: “Federal jobs program”).
Child Care Assistance
Child Care Assistance and additional financial resources to support working parents and their children.