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Millions of California workers have lost jobs or seen their work hours significantly cut back as a result of the public health measures that state and local governments have put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. While necessary to protect the state’s health care system and mitigate the spread of infection, these disruptions seriously threaten the economic stability of a significant share of California workers – and their families. Yet these disruptions do not affect all Californians equally, with a greater burden on California workers with less education, those who are immigrants, and California’s children and adults of color.

To understand who may be most affected, this piece examines the demographics of workers and the families of workers in California industries that are directly and immediately affected by the business slowdown and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


In this fact sheet you will learn about:

  1. Who are the State’s Struggling Workers: Many Californians Face High Risk of Economic Devastation from the COVID-19 Business Slowdown
  2. Wage & Educational Disparities: Workers With Low Wages and Less Education Face High Risk of Losing Work
  3. Job Hits Worsen Racial Inequalities: Californians of Color and Their Children Are Particularly Vulnerable to Economic Instability
  4. Impossible Situation for Immigrants: California’s Immigrants Face Financial Crisis, With Millions Left out of Public Support
  5. Opportunities Now & Beyond: Policymakers Can Address Racial and Economic Inequities with COVID-19 Responses

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