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Reproduced from NTIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus crisis may offer a grim preview of further marginalization for Americans of color in the coming decades, a new Deutsche Bank report concludes.

The big picture: "COVID is a picture of what the world might look like in the future as it gets more digitized," Apjit Walia, a technology strategist with Deutsche Bank, told Axios. His report finds that Black and Hispanic Americans are particularly vulnerable to being left behind as the workforce further digitizes and inequality rises.

By the numbers: 76% of Black people and 62% of Hispanic people in the U.S. could be shut out or underprepared for 86% of jobs in the country by 2045, according to the report. The pandemic has already offered a model for how that divide might play out.

  • Black people had to venture out of their homes 135% more than white people in April compared to pre-COVID, Deutsche Bank found, per geolocation data gathered in majority Black and majority white neighborhoods in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
  • "We believe this is an accurate representation of the state of the racial digital divide in the country," write Walia and report co-author Sai Ravindran. "Clearly, poor access to Tech connectivity & work-from-home jobs rendered minorities with few choices but to venture out of home to make a living, even with peril to their lives."

Black and Hispanic people are a decade behind white people in the U.S. when it comes to levels of broadband access in the home, according to data Deutsche Bank highlights from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

What's next: Big Tech firms could step in to help bridge the digital divide, such as by offering job training and funding connectivity initiatives, Walia said.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 14, 2020 - Economy & Business

Pandemic-era debt could spawn new global wave of "zombie firms"

Reproduced from BofA Global Research; Note: Banks included are Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of England, Bank of Canada and Reserve Bank of Australia; Chart: Axios Visuals

Fears are mounting that a massive growth in debt and the current policy environment — described as "monetary policymaking on steroids," by Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors, earlier this year — could be producing a new global wave of "zombie firms," a new G30 report by top economists and central bankers warns.

What it means: "The term 'zombie firms' was coined to refer to firms propped up by Japanese banks during Japan’s so-called 'Lost Decade,' following the collapse in 2001 of the Japanese asset price bubble," according to the report.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: Former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

5 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.