How you doin? Are you doing better than some of your gay friends? Some of us are heavily removed from this whole COVID-19 pandemic as we sit at home with our computers and food delivery programs. Just put it on the credit card as we’re still working, making a living. I think most of my friends are doing just fine. But it’s not until you drive by the line of cars at the food bank or the COVID testing centers that it resonates a little more. The fact that people are truly being affected comes to light more as you see the Karens on television complain about their hair cuts, but you also see the people that need to get back to work to make money to pay those bills. They are not as fortunate as many of us.
Human Rights Campaign and PSB Research found that 17 percent of LGBTQ people had lost their jobs because of COVID-19, compared to 13 percent of the general population. The U.S. unemployment rate soared to 14.7 percent in April. The report, based on 4,000 participants polled from April 16 to May 6, LGBTQ people of color were disproportionately affected: Twenty-two percent of them reported losing their job because of the pandemic, compared to 14 percent of white LGBTQ people surveyed. The report also found 42 percent of LGBTQ people said their financial situation was “somewhat or much worse off now than one year ago,” compared to 36 percent of non-LGBTQ people.
The organization’s new data builds upon its previous research demonstrating the LGBTQ community’s economic vulnerability.
Our early analysis showed why LGBTQ people were more likely to be impacted by the virus: We work in industries, like the service industry, that are more likely to be impacted by the pandemic and are less likely to have health insurance or access to medical care when needed. – Elizabeth Bibi, the campaign’s senior communications adviser
It is not just LGBTQ workers losing their jobs, if they are keeping their jobs, they are losing their hours at a higher rate than others which in turn is affecting their participation in the economy.
- nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ respondents had their work hours reduced, compared to about 1 in 5 in the general population
- LGBTQ people were cutting back on spending at higher rates: Nearly 60 percent said they were now spending less, compared to just over 50 percent of the general public
- 42 percent of LGBTQ people reported making adjustments to their household budgets, versus 30 percent of the general population.
- 11 percent of LGBTQ respondents reported requesting rent delays, compared to 8 percent of the general population.
We know LGBTQ people face higher rates of economic instability, higher poverty, lower rates of employment and higher incidence of pre-existing conditions. You can make a pretty reliable assumption that LGBTQ people are facing serious economic consequences from the pandemic. – Sharita Gruberg, director of policy at the Center for American Progress
An NBC news post goes on to say that:
The Center for American Progress released a report last week that suggested LGBTQ people are among those “being hit harder by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Using data from the government’s Current Population Survey, the organization found that from 2014 to 2019, same-sex couples experienced higher rates of unemployment compared to other Americans. This means that even during periods of economic recovery, gay couples are less able to bounce back.
The news outlet also highlights that there were already economic inequalities as most LGBTQ people already earned less than their non-LGBTQ counterparts. We are a vulnerable sort when it comes to negative changes in the economy. Of course, it is up to us to do our own studies as the current administration does not favor any surveys or census to include LGBTQ individuals.
Are you like me? I’m a little removed from the scenario as a I personally do not have any close LGBTQ friends that have lost their job because of the pandemic. Yes, i have some Facebook acquaintances where I see them sharing about filling out unemployment forms, but it was not until last night when an acquaintance told me point blank on Facebook messenger that he had been downsized by a NYC PR firm. So if someone knows of a good PR job in the city, let me know!
How have you been coping with the economic instability? Have you lost your job or has nothing really changed?