The findings revealed Latinos now have a grimmer view of the economy than the general population due in part to how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their employment prospects.
About 59% of Latinos polled said they live in households where someone lost their job or had their pay cut due to coronavirus concerns during the month of May. Only 43% of US households overall said the same, according to Pew.
Hispanic unemployment peaked at 13.9% during the Great Recession that started in 2008, but this year the group’s unemployment rate rose from just 4.8% in February to a high of 18.5% in April, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latter figure far outpaces the 12.8% April unemployment rate for non-Hispanic White Americans.
Pew Research Center Senior Writer and Editor Jens Manuel Krogstad, the study’s lead author, said the mass layoffs the country experienced between March and July occurred in business sectors, such as hospitality and health services, where Latinos are overrepresented.
Hispanic women in particular have experienced furloughs or seen many of their jobs disappear during the downturn, according to Krogstad. The unemployment rate for Hispanic women rose from just 5.5% in February to 20.5% in April, according to Pew. For Hispanic men, unemployment rose from 4.3% to 16.9% during the same span.
“It’s different than previous recessions where male sectors, such as manufacturing and construction, were the hardest hit,” Krogstad told CNN Business on Wednesday. “Job losses happened in sectors that are difficult to perform remotely.
It’s unclear whether the downturn has affected Latino US citizens differently than those who are undocumented. US-born Hispanics had an unemployment rate of 15.3% in June, slightly higher than the 13.5% rate for foreign-born Hispanics, according to the study.
Krogstad noted that immigrants overall have had a harder time economically during the recession.
“We do know immigrants tend to hold different types of jobs than those born in the US and it might affect how they’re impacted by the outbreak,” he said.