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COVID-19: More than 50% of LA residents lose jobs.

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A woman carries away fresh food at a Los Angeles Regional Food Bank giveaway of 2,000 boxes of groceries, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

More than half of the population of Los Angeles are now unemployed, according to a national survey from the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research.

Researchers found that only 45% of LA workers are still employed, compared with 61% in mid-March as 1.3 million people have lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis.

“In LA, there was a certain level of insecurity, to begin with, and it has increased a little bit more than it has in the national average,” USC’s Jill Darling, survey director for the Understanding America Study, said according to LAist.

The research also found that ethnic minorities had been hit hardest by job losses across the country, with 15% of white people saying they had lost their jobs, while 18% of Latinos and 21% of black people reported job losses.

People queue to pick up fresh food at a Los Angeles Regional Food Bank giveaway of 2,000 boxes of groceries, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 9, 2020. Image Credit: Lucy Nicholson Reuters News Agency

“Under normal circumstances losing a job without access to benefits would be bad enough, but in the current situation, chances of finding a new job are likely to be close to nonexistent,” Arie Kapteyn, director of the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, said in a statement seen by the LA Times.

“These changes are nothing less than catastrophic for those affected.”

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the week that ended April 11. Of these, 660,966 were Californians.

The report brought the four-week total of US workers filing for unemployment to 22.03 million, which means that coronavirus-related layoffs have effectively erased the 22 million jobs that the US economy added since the post-Great Recession recovery starting in mid-2009.

“We wiped that out so fast,” Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, told Business Insider. “It’s mind-boggling.”

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