POC, Women, LGBTQ Individuals Hurting More Financially from Pandemic

By Alex Padalka July 15, 2020

Covid-19 has had a disproportionate financial impact on people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, gig workers and certain other segments of the population, according to a recent report. 

“This crisis exposed deep fissures in our public health and economic systems, pervasive racial and social inequity, and how weak our collective immunity is to financial disruption,” John Kalamarides, president of Prudential Group Insurance, says in a statement. “Tackling these systemic vulnerabilities will require bold thinking and public/private partnerships to help our society overcome financial fragility and prosper through an inclusive recovery.”

Seventeen percent of Americans report losing employer contributions to their retirement plan, 14% say they lost health insurance and 10% say they lost group life insurance benefits, Prudential found. 

But certain groups have been hit harder than others. While 17% of Americans report having their household income slashed by half or more in the wake of the pandemic, that rises to 21% of millennials and 22% of Gen Xers, compared to just 8% of baby boomers, according to a survey conducted in May of more than 3,000 U.S. adults. Furthermore, the proportion rises to 24% of retail workers, 25% of LGBTQ individuals, 31% of gig workers (such as independent contractors or temporary workers), 32% of small business owners and 34% of Americans with income under $30,000, compared to just 8% for those with income over $100,000, Prudential found.

On average, women, African Americans, Latinx, American Indians and Alaska Natives, as well as caregivers, the disabled, and members of the LGBTQ community, were already in households with significantly lower total incomes than the general population in 2019, Prudential says.

But Prudential’s 2020 Financial Wellness Census, conducted on May 7 to 13, found that while median household income among Americans was $75,000, it stayed flat from the previous year for Latinx at $55,000, and dropped from $55,000 to $45,000 for African Americans. Additionally, while unemployment among African Americans was 7% in December 2019, it more than doubled to 18% in May 2020, Prudential says.

It’s no wonder, then, that while 48% of the survey’s respondents are worried about their financial future — up from 28% only a few months prior — it rises to 56% of African Americans and Latinx, according to the survey.

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