Union, United States, Aaron discussed on The Takeaway

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Is a real risk. That you will trigger an that. You might not be able to control which impact docs will set you back. Not only leading suffering and death avoided could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery this week. Anthony Fauci the country's top medical expert for the covert nineteen crisis testified virtually in front of the Senate Health Committee. He urged the country to refrain from opening up too early and he said the death toll from the virus in the United States could be much higher than the reported. Eighty thousand people so far and as the Health Crisis Continues Cove. Nineteen has also pushed us over the cliff toward an economic crisis. We're still bracing for the impact in the month of April alone. More than twenty million people filed for unemployment in the United States that is a staggeringly high number the US now has an unemployment rate of fourteen point seven percent and to put that in perspective we have not seen anything that high since the Times of the Great Depression and even then the rate took a year and a half to get very high here. It happened within a month. That's Lean Wyndham. She's the associate director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the working poor at Georgetown University. The workers who are affected the most are of course those who are working in hospitality and service jobs and there's something else striking about who's hit the hardest though it's no surprise to communists who've seen this trend again and again we know that people of Color and women are the most likely to have lost their jobs. The unemployment is hitting women and people of Color even harder. I spoke with lean to discuss the significance of these numbers along with Aaron. Ross Coleman in Ida b wells fellow at the tight media institute covering race and Economics We know for instance that women and people of color earn less money and have less wealth and what that means when they hit a time of unemployment and when they hit hard times as they have simply less to fall back on so you know the fact that women only make eighty two cents on the dollar to what men earn black women earn. Just sixty two cents for every dollar earned by men that means that at times of unemployment when they lose their jobs they they just are going to be harder hit Aaron. Can you say more about how these unemployment numbers breakdown across racial lines? So new Desegregated. It's even worse picture. Hispanic unemployment's at eighteen percent black unemployment said sixteen percent the of white and Asian unemployment or both At fourteen in you already are starting to see some of the disparate kind of breakdowns. That have happened impasse. Recessions during the previous the great recession I it was similarly disparate national diplomas at nine percent and then a black unemployment was at sixteen percent and then going back to the Great Depression. You see similar kind of really big gaps with twenty four percent nationally and fifty percent for black people. So there's the old saying that when America gets a cold Black Americans get the flu. And it's like now we all have chronic so it's a pretty tough lane. What about the gender gap did unemployment shakeout in a similar way in two thousand and eight in two thousand and eight? We saw job losses Were more heavily. Worn by men Often and the construction industry for instance this time around. It's different women are losing their jobs. At a faster rate the unemployment rate among women right now is fifteen point. Five percent compared to thirteen percent among men. That's a big gender gap and we. We saw gender gap although it wasn't as large in two thousand eight but it was reversed so this time because of the nature of the kinds of jobs that are being lost that tend to be more female dominated Women are absolutely shouldering A lot of the burden in this round Aaron we also saw a very long recovery process. Take place since two thousand eight and for many people that recovery was only being felt recently. How do you perceive it will be for us to bounce back to a recovery from this? I think a lot of that depends on the public policy response. And you know. What policymakers decided to do to intervene? But right now it's tough in. There are a lot of obstacles ahead for a lot of families for a lot of workers particularly black and Brown workers. You know unemployment was just starting to dip down into the low single digits. You know that was a talking point. That trump was very proud of the lowest black unemployment on record. And that's because you saw a recovery where you know. More people were starting to join the Labor Force. Employers are becoming less discriminatory. And you know who they would hire Just based off race and skill and stuff like that so you earlier last year at the end of last year two thousand nineteen we were just getting to those really good kind of unemployment numbers were people. Were being able to participate and now here. We are at the worst recession since the Great Depression Lane right now. There's a lot of talk about essential workers and I'm sitting in New York and here many of those essential workers are black and Brown people. What might recession look like for essential workers across the country? One in three jobs held by women are considered essential so a recovery for essential workers could mean that they have jobs they have work but will the work be healthy. Will it be safe? Will it be jobs that they can can go to with confidence? And I'd say right now. Many of those workers are reporting to work and are really risking the safety For themselves and for their families and I think that You know we have a long way to go before Those essential workers who we depend on those cashiers. Those nurses those. Emt workers are are fully protected and are fully safe. You know. I'm thinking about unions and labour organizing lane. Hefley seen a difference between how unionized workers and non unionized workers fair during past recessions. I'm curious how Labour organizing can possibly help black and Brown people and women specifically so there absolutely is a union difference in terms of wages. You know I mentioned before. There'S A gender wage gap. There's a race wage gap unions closed that. And so you know. A worker who has a union makes more money than those who don't women and people of color or even more likely to do better than their non union counterparts So Unions addresses lutely Raise WAGES INCREASE BENEFITS. And frankly give workers more say at a time when they really need it work place. You know you saw that. I think for instance. In some of the unionized grocery stores those were the first ones to have the plexiglas up. Should be making sure that that there was safety For for their workforce you know and what we're seeing across the country is that there's lots more interest in unions. Lots of workers have been striking Just since the beginning of March there have been over one hundred and fifty wildcat strikes. These are strikes that are not necessarily called by the Union. They are from the grass roots when people feel that their safety is not being respected and so there there have been a number of strikes Across the country and I think There's also just been a renewed interest in general and the idea of organizing unions. Do we know if there are any organizations or at the local or state level or even local or state level governments? That are really bracing for what these unemployment numbers mean. Is Anyone truly prepared for this? I don't think so. I mean recessions or something that like state. Local officials really depend on the federal government for support just because they oftentimes don't have the budgets that allow for Kind of deficit spending in order to offset you know like cuts to their budget or just you know. Large scale stimulus so it. It really often in my experience. Just speaking economists and politicians. It's something that they definitely relying on the federal government to help them get through. Just see something of this size and scope. I would just add to that that in this country it is very clear right now that the way that we do our social safety net is particularly poorly. Put together to deal with this kind of a massive pandemic a huge crisis. You know Workers Healthcare comes through their employers up to forty. Three million people may lose their healthcare and this crisis in addition our unemployment is for it goes through the states It doesn't go through the federal level at one system. And so you know we are particularly poorly suited to dealing with this level of a crisis so in the absence of those kinds of social safety nets like you said Lane. What are some solutions that we can look to to sort of soften the.

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