Racial & Ethnic Disparities in EPOP Recoveries

Employment-population ratios have been recovering: the overall EPOP had regained 54.1% of its February-April loss by September, and 62.2% through December. However, in the last two months only half the major demographic groups retained traction, so November and December overall were flat.

That’s graphed below, and here are some highlights: Men overall have gained 5.2 points of their loss, about half women’s 10-point recovery. White & Hispanic women have turned in stronger performances than men, contradicting a popular meme that played off women’s weakness in December.

Women’s EPOP fell by 10 points between February and April, and has regained 6.4%. Men lost 9.6 points and regained 5.7. But since women started with a lower EPOP than men, these translate to larger percentages. However, in December the EPOP for women was 83% of that of men, close to February’s share, after having fallen to 80% at the April low.

Racial and ethnic disparities are far greater than those of gender. Black and Latino EPOPs fell harder than whites’ and have recovered less, with black women showing the weakest recovery of any of the demographic groups shown. One thing dragging down the recovery among black workers is almost certainly the continuing decline in government employment, where they’re heavily overrepresented, with many jobs earning good pay.