Poorer Californians Continue to Be Most Affected by Lockdowns

We have grown perhaps too accustomed to hearing our state leaders and the media establishment sing praise to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lockdowns, but as a consequence, we have become almost deaf to the damage that such a sustained halt has done to our state communities.

study published in August by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment may help us understand the severity of both the COVID-19 pandemic and California’s subsequent response. According to the study, people of color were hit the hardest with income losses. While under half of White households in mid-March reported a loss of employment income, the percentages were 65.8% and 55.6% for Latino and Black households, respectively.

With regard to applications for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in California, 49.5% of all Black workers, 40.3% of all Asian workers, 33.6% of all White workers, and 35.1% of all Hispanic workers filed a claim.

Additionally, the study shows that only 8.2% of people with a graduate degree filed a UI claim in the state, compared to 70.7% of individuals with a high school degree/GED. While the crisis has affected employment for all industries, those that are white-collar dominated have unsurprisingly fared much better than the rest.

Ultimately, the overwhelming majority of Californians want to return to work in the same pre-pandemic economy that performed so well for the entire country. The belief shared by many Democrats that people are unable to make informed decisions in a time of crisis is absurd and condescending. They should realize that Californians are able to measure the risks and respond appropriately, but the nanny state ideology guides the absurd policies that continue to hurt so many in our state.


Photo by GoToVan via Flickr