Chavez 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended our social and economic lives. Many have left their jobs, and many of those who are still working have reduced their work hours to make up for increasing demands at home.1As the nation slowly recovers from the pandemic, workers enter an economy still devastated by a year of closures and layoffs. How are workers faring in this new world? In particular, how have the barriers facing women and workers of color in the labor market changed, if at all? These are the questions that interest me and my coauthors, Dr. Kate Weisshaar and graduate student Tania Cabello-Hutt. In our ongoing research project, we ask, how have patterns of racial and gender discrimination at the point of hire changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Key Findings

  • Discrimination at the point of hire against Black workers, particularly Black men, remains consistent before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, Black men receive about 18% fewer responses from employers than White men regardless of whether they applied before or during the pandemic.
  • In contrast, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in discrimination in favor of White women. Before the pandemic, White women and White men receive a similar number of responses from employers. During the pandemic, White women receive 22% more responses from employers than White men.