COVID-19 has recently brought some positive changes for workers, from better conditions to higher wages as employers compete with unemployment benefits. But Black workers haven’t experienced the same economic gains.
In fact, we’re worse off than before COVID-19: our unemployment rates have actually increased! Here’s why.
#1: Racial discrimination.
Racism might be an obvious answer, but Black workers – even the most educated and skilled – are as unable to find jobs as whites without high school degrees! This is a sure sign of racial prejudice against our people in hiring.
#2: Poor economic opportunity.
Black workers tend to live in places with fewer high-growth job opportunities, and we’re more likely to find low-paying, entry level jobs. On top of that, many Black workers are employed by state and local governments, which have cut much of their workforces since COVID-19 and have been slow to re-hire.
#3: Unenforced policies.
There are laws in place meant to address workplace discrimination, racist hiring practices, and even social conditions that make it hard for Black workers to find jobs, but they simply aren’t enforced.
All of these impacts together mean that Black unemployment in June 2021 is about 60% higher than white unemployment.
Unsurprisingly, the so-called economic recovery isn’t benefiting us. U.S. capitalism has never had Black success or well-being in mind – only we can create economic security for ourselves!