Study: COVID-19 Job Loss Disproportionately Impacted Black & Older Workforce Populations In Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A study from the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Social and Urban Research found that job losses from the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affected black and older workforces in Allegheny County.

Over 2,500 people were surveyed between March, April, and May found that 19.7% of black workers employed at the beginning of March were no longer employed compared to 17.2% of white workers.

They also found that elderly workers, age 65 and older, were the most likely to have lost paid employment due to the pandemic. 26.8% reported having lost work, compared to 13.2% of workers between the ages of 18-34.

While younger workers didn’t lose work at the same rates, they were most likely to have shifted to working from home, with over half of respondents ages 18-34 reporting that shift at 54.3%.

“While the majority of all workers in the county were impacted in some way, not all types of workers were impacted the same. Younger and college-educated workers were much more likely to have quickly shifted to teleworking and keep their jobs,” said Chris Briem, a regional economist with UCSUR’s Urban & Regional Analysis program and the study’s principal investigator. “Our report shows that Black workers, workers without college degrees, and elderly workers were all more likely to more likely to be out of work due to the pandemic.”