HRC Releases Research on Economic Inpact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ People of Color

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC has released new data outlining the economic impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on LGBTQ communities of color.

Public data has shown that marginalized communities, especially communities of color, have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Despite making up only 12 percent of the population, Black people account for 22 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

However, higher infection rates are not the only negative impact the pandemic has had on people of color. LGBTQ people of color are facing disproportionate economic effects like cut hours and unemployment. Thirty-eight percent of LGBTQ people of color have had their work hours reduced, compared to 29 percent of white LGBTQ people, and twenty-two percent of LGBTQ people have color have faced unemployment compared to 14 percent of white LGBTQ people.

LGBTQ people of color are also more likely to have asked for delays in paying bills and rent; 19 percent asked for delayed payments on bills and 14 percent for rent, compared to 14 percent and eight percent of white LGBTQ people, respectively. 23 percent of LGBTQ people of color have also checked if their account had overdrafted, compared to 13 percent of white LGBTQ people.

“This new data, showing that LGBTQ communities of color are facing the severe economic consequences of this pandemic, is unfortunately not surprising,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “We know that multiply marginalized populations are at an increased risk of contracting the virus and suffering its effects—vulnerable communities are facing higher death rates than the general population cross the country. We must acknowledge that these communities, particularly LGBTQ people of color, face systemic biases that are placing them at greater risk. Understanding this data is the first step towards addressing these injustices as we build towards recovery.”

This research follows a previous research brief released by HRC regarding the economic impacts the pandemic has had on the LGBTQ community as a whole, which found that 40 percent of LGBTQ people worked in one of these five highly affected industries: restaurant and food services, hospitals, K-12 education and colleges/universities, and retail.