Press Release COVID-19 Economic Crisis and Recovery Workers

Black Workers Are Disproportionately in Frontline Industries, New Data Analysis Shows

June 04, 2020

Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460Mail_Outline

Black Workers Are Twice as Likely as White Workers to Live in Low-Income Families

According to Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) data analysis, three-in-ten Black workers work in six frontline industry groups, compared to one-in-five White workers. These industry groups include health care; grocery, convenience, and drug stores; childcare and social services; trucking, warehouse, and postal services; public transit; and building cleaning services.

These are just some of the insights provided in new analysis by CEPR’s Hayley Brown, Shawn Fremstad, and Hye Jin Rho.

“Among workers in frontline industries, Black workers are overrepresented and undercompensated,” said coauthor Hayley Brown.

The data also show:

  • One-in-five workers without a four-year college degree working in a frontline industry — a group we refer to as the frontline working-class — are Black.
  • Black workers, including those in frontline industries, are about twice as likely as White workers to live in low-income families (families with incomes under 200 percent of the official poverty line, or about $43,500 for a family of four in 2020).
  • Among the frontline working-class, nearly two-in-five Black workers live in a low-income family.

The new analysis follows the April report by the same authors, “A Basic Demographic Profile of Workers in Frontline Industries.”


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