The Pandemic Recovery And Its Effect On Black and Brown Workers
Aimee Picchi of CBS News reports that, according to data from payroll provider Gusto, there are growing disparities between urban cores and suburban areas. While this trend away from cities is positive for small businesses as well as the vibrancy of suburban economies, it could pose a threat to the health of urban centers — and pose problems for workers in those city cores. This meaning the places where Black and Brown workers live and work aren’t recovering as fast and is more evidence of the intricate connection between geographic recovery and racial recovery as White workers are rebounding faster than Black workers in the pandemic, with the unemployment rate for White adults standing at 5.4% in June compared with 9.4% for Black workers.
Whereas in 2019, growth in urban areas tended to grow 1.5 times higher in urban counties compared with suburban areas in 2019, Gusto’s payroll data found employment in the urban cores of large cities has recovered at a 51% lower rate than in the suburbs and smaller cities. The biggest gaps are in large cities that were hard-it by the pandemic. Seattle has shown the largest difference in employment growth compared with neighboring suburban areas since February 2020, Gusto said, a gap of more than 1,300%.
Small businesses formed at record rates across the nation during the first six months of 2021, with a new analysis from the Economic Innovation Group finding that almost 1 million applications were filed to form new businesses likely to hire employees in 2021. Rural Southern counties showed the biggest pickup in new business creation compared with the previous year, the study found.
It’s not just jobs but wages that are at stake, the Gusto data suggest. For instance, wages for service-sector jobs in suburban New York are 17% higher now compared with February 2020, versus an 8% increase in wages for the same type of jobs in downtown New York. Similar to the Great Migration of the early 20th century which saw blacks move from the south to the north for economic reasons, the pandemic might cause Black and Latino workers to migrate from the city to the suburbs.