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Labor Department data reveals minority workers impacted most during pandemic

Black men and women suffering most
Posted at 8:28 PM, Oct 07, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — A new national study reveals a startling trend. According to the Department of Labor, the Black community is having the toughest time recovering from the pandemic when it comes to landing jobs.

Shawnya Wooden worked in the insurance industry before the pandemic hit.

"When we were in the middle of the pandemic I lost my job, I lost it because doctor's offices were shutdown and people were doing telehealth," Wooden said. "The company was losing business so they had to let about 50 people go, I was one of the ones they let go."

Right away she started to worry.

“Like what am I going to do I have a house payment a car payment I just have a lot of bills I didn't want those bills to pile up on me,” Wooden said. "The first thing I did was go online and applied for unemployment. I got approved for unemployment I got the extra $600 a month."

Wooden connected with the Reset Center a community resource that helps connect people to their next opportunity. “As a black woman it is tough for us to get out there and find a job in our career or maybe the salary range, some of the jobs I interviewed they didn't pay what I wanted to make,” said Wooden.

In fact, a recent study done based on National Department of Labor numbers found that black men and women are having the hardest time getting their jobs back during the pandemic. The study says more than half of white Americans have got their jobs back compared to only 34 % for black men and 39% for black women have been re-employed.

"I'm not surprised at all right now with what is going on it is really hard,” Wooden said.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says as things open up more people are getting back to work in Indiana nearly 65% or workforce is back here in Indiana, the labor force participation rate is up to 64.5. That's above the national rate of 63.2 percent.

Like Wooden, who recently found a new opportunity.