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Black Workers Disproportionately in Front Lines

Published Thursday Jun 11, 2020

Black Workers Disproportionately in Front Lines

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) data analysis, three in 10 black workers work in six front line 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 are working in a front line industry, a group referred to in the research as the frontline working-class, are black.
  • Black workers, including those in front line industries, are about twice as likely as white workers to live in low-income families below 200 percent of the poverty level, or about $43,500 for a family of four.
  • 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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