Finance

Latinas left workforce at highest rate amid pandemic: research

No demographic left the workforce at higher rates during the pandemic than Latinas, according to new research by the University of California-Los Angeles's Latino Policy and Politics Initiative.

Latinas saw a 20 percent unemployment rate in April of last year, after COVID-19 restrictions were in place, causing a number of businesses to shutter operations, according to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy of UCLA's research prior to its release.

By the end of 2020, when businesses were beginning to reopen their doors, Hispanic and Black women saw unemployment rates almost double those of their white counterparts, according to the study.

The research found that participation in the labor force among Latinas aged 25 to 54 decreased as well, dipping from 71 percent before the pandemic to below 67 percent this May.

The drop in participation rate commonly refers to people who have not actively looked for work in four weeks.

That drop, according to the AP, translates to 465,000 fewer Latinas working or seeking work.

Kassandra Hernández, a lead researcher of the UCLA report, told the AP the findings are important in charting the country's economic recovery following the pandemic.

"If we don't recognize the complexities or the nuances of these narratives, of what's happening with Latinas, we might actually be set back,"' Hernández said.

Hernández added that women need access to child care and stronger pay and educational opportunities to help them prevail over the disparities in career opportunities, in addition to the difficulties stemming from the pandemic.

The wire service noted that Latinas face a number of obstacles. Research has illustrated that the demographic is more likely than all other U.S. mothers to stay home with children instead of working.

Additionally, Latinas typically complete more work at home compared to men in their lives, spending double the amount of time on household activities and almost triple the amount of time caring for household members when compared to Latinos, the AP noted.

The economy has been on a steady recovery since the height of the pandemic, with the most recent jobs report earlier this month illustrating that the U.S. labor market added 559,000 jobs in May.

Additionally, the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent from 6.1 percent the previous month.

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