The Senate budget committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to discuss wealth and income inequality in the U.S.
The hearing is expected to begin at 11 a.m. ET. Watch in the video player above.
A year into the global pandemic, millions of Americans have experienced a devastating toll, from lost loved ones to lost jobs that have left some in deep financial holes.
A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that, compared to white Americans, Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to have experienced job and other income losses, and those who have lost income are more likely to have found themselves in deep financial holes.
That’s on top of Black and Hispanic Americans being more likely than white Americans to say they lost someone close to the virus and less likely to have received vaccinations thus far.
Even as millions of Americans now are being inoculated daily, the pandemic has killed Black and Hispanic Americans at rates disproportionate to their population in the U.S, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“One of the things that has really come out of a lot of the reporting that I’ve done over the past year is that you have to talk about the role that structural racism plays in all of this,” says Associated Press national race and ethnicity investigative writer Kat Stafford.
Overall, 62% of Hispanic Americans and 54% of Black Americans have lost some form of household income during the pandemic, including job losses, pay cuts, cuts in hours and unpaid leave, compared with 45% of white Americans.
For other racial and ethnic groups, including Asian Americans and Native Americans, sample sizes are too small to analyze in the AP-NORC poll.
About 6 in 10 Hispanics and about half of Black Americans say their households are still facing the impacts of income loss from the pandemic, compared with about 4 in 10 white Americans. Black and Hispanic Americans are also especially likely to say that impact has been a major one.
The national AP-NORC poll echoes a Brookings Institute report this month that examined COVID-19 racial disparities in Detroit, the nation’s largest Black-majority city which was devastated by the pandemic.
The report found that Black residents were more likely to experience “COVID-19 spillovers,” a series of challenges, stressors and racial disparities that already existed but were exacerbated by the pandemic.
There have long been racial disparities in how Americans experience economic downturns and recessions. However, following a recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and well into the Trump administration, the unemployment gap between Black and white Americans narrowed amid strong job growth and economic activity.
According to a recent analysis in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Economic Inequality blog series, the unemployment gap between Black and white workers reached as low as 3.4 percentage points, after peaking at 8.5 percentage points. However, the pandemic pushed the Black-white unemployment gap from 3 percentage points in February of 2020 to 5.4 percentage points last August, erasing the gains seen during the recovery.
The AP-NORC poll also finds Hispanic Americans are especially likely to think it will take a long time to dig their way out of the financial hole. About half of Hispanics say they are still feeling the effects of income loss and that it will take at least 6 months to recover financially. About a third of Black Americans say the same, compared with about a quarter of white Americans.