Aug 18, 2020 - Economy

The coronavirus double whammy for older women and workers of color

Photo illustration of a lone woman on the train with the woman in the photograph cut out.

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Watford/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images.

Older women and workers of color are likely to suffer the worst economic effects as the pandemic and recession drag on, experts say.

The big picture: "We know from past recessions that if you're an older woman or an older worker of color, your ability to become re-employed is even more difficult than that of an older white man," the Urban Institute's Johnson says.

  • Older women earn less than older men  and they're likely to have less money saved and to live longer, says Jenkins of AARP.
  • Among older people of color, around 12% of women and 10% of men have exited the workforce since March, per the New School's Schwartz Center. When looking at older white workers, that drops to 7.5% of women and 5% of men.

The bottom line: Workplace discrimination on the basis of gender or race gets magnified with age.

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