Washington Post analysis reveals coronavirus recession is 'most unequal' in history

A closed store in New York City.
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The coronavirus led to steeper job losses than the U.S. has ever seen — and it's hitting certain demographics harder than others.

Americans are slowly starting to regain the massive number of jobs lost at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But a data analysis by The Washington Post showed mothers of young children, Black people, young Americans, and some other groups have recovered more slowly than others, leading the Post to label the COVID-19 recession "the most unequal in modern U.S. history."

"Between February and April, 10 percent of Americans ages 25 to 54 lost their jobs," leading the percentage of employed Americans to hit its lowest level since 1975, the Post writes. As of August, about half of those jobs have been regained, but the recovery hasn't been equal. While white Americans have recovered more than half of their jobs, Black Americans have regained just over a third of theirs, the Post analysis shows.

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Young Americans age 20-24 meanwhile saw the steepest drop of any age group early in the pandemic, while workers age 25-34 have seen the shallowest recovery rate of any age group. Mothers also lost a greater percentage of their jobs than fathers did, and have seen slower recovery, especially if they're raising young children. And when directly compared to the 1990, 2001, and 2008 recessions, it's clear the COVID-19 pandemic hit the lowest-earning Americans harder than ever before.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.