The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recently collaborated with PSB Insights on a study that revealed that LGBTQ+ individuals are disproportionately facing employment challenges as the economy begins to reopen in the US. These challenges are nothing new for the community, however, the pandemic is adding a whole other layer of increased risk.
LGBTQ+ individuals have already been dealing with an increased risk of contracting Covid-19 due to a systemic lack of access to sufficient medical care. Additionally, LGBTQ+ people are more likely to be working in industries heavily affected by the virus, and are more likely to experience homelessness.
As a majority of states in the US begin to reopen, citizens in general are noticing a massive increase in pay cuts, and a decrease in available working hours/jobs available. For the LGBTQ+ community, these obstacles are even more prominent, as they existed long before the pandemic began as well. HRC President Alphonso David recently released a statement on this study and its staggering results.
“As some communities start to go back to work, many times in fear and without choice, we’re seeing that LGBTQ people, especially LGBTQ people of color and transgender people, are being left behind.”
According to the report, LGBTQ+ individuals have been 20% more likely to experience a cut in their work hours, LGBTQ+ people of color have experienced a 44% increase in the likelihood that their hours would get cut, and transgender individuals specifically have experienced a 125% increase.
LGBTQ+ people have also been 30% more likely than the general population to lose their jobs; the reported stated that bisexual people have been discriminated against the most in terms of job losses during the pandemic. Bisexual people have been 80% more likely to lose their jobs, and LGBTQ+ people of color are 70% more likely to become unemployed. All of this data was specifically taken from when states began reopening to ensure the numbers were exclusive to the pandemic and its economic impact.
LGBTQ+ individuals were 50% more likely to receive a pay cut since the economies general reopening, and LGBTQ+ people of color have been 150% more likely to receive a pay cut. A majority of LGBTQ+ people who have the ability to go back to work are going back with the understanding that they would be receiving a cut in their salary; and for many, this is their only option of potential income.
“We must make sure that elected officials at all levels are ensuring that LGBTQ people, especially the members of the community who are living at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities, receive the support they need.”
When states began reopening the study also found that 69% of the general population and 80% of the LGBTQ+ population believe prioritizing containing the virus is more important than reopening the economy. For more information on HRC’s study, click here.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.