Who has been hit hardest by job loss in Allegheny Co. during COVID-19? We asked a Pitt researcher

Who has been hit hardest by job loss in Allegheny Co. during coronavirus? We asked a Pitt researcher

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — Who has been hit the hardest by job losses in Allegheny County due to the coronavirus pandemic? Channel 11 asked a University of Pittsburgh researcher who just published a study answering that question.

According to the Pitt study, black Americans and older workers were most impacted by COVID-19-related job loss in the county.

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“We were able to look into which workers were not only losing their jobs, temporarily or permanently, but really which have been able to shift to telework or working from home,” said Chris Briem, regional economist at Pitt.

According to Briem’s study, 19.7% of black workers who had jobs at the beginning of March were no longer employed -- compared to 17.2% of white workers.

The disparities didn’t end there.

Elderly employees were more likely to lose their jobs too. According to the study, 26.8% of workers over the age of 65 are now unemployed.

Meanwhile, only 13.2% of workers between ages 18-34 lost their jobs.

“Elderly workers are a big part of the workforce here. This is still a fairly older region,” Briem said. “These age disparities could be a big impact on the labor supply going forward if we don’t keep older workers in the workforce.”

As for what the future could hold for jobs if there is a second wave of COVID-19, Briem is hoping his study will make a difference.

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