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Economic Impact Of COVID-19 Hitting Latinos Differently In Western And Central Mass.

N95 masks and nitrile gloves.
Jesse Costa
N95 masks and nitrile gloves.

A new survey from the MassINC details the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latinos in Massachusetts, and finds Latinos living in the western and central parts of the state may have more of a buffer.

Statewide, 20% of Massachusetts Latinos in the workforce are unemployed and looking for jobs, according to the survey. About a third said they've had to get groceries at a food bank.

But Latinos west of Boston and its suburbs are more likely to be employed full time and more likely to have been working from home during the pandemic.

Other recent surveys show parallels between Latino and Black communities, said MassINC researcher Maeve Duggan.

“The coronavirus crisis is not strictly limited to health impacts,” Duggan said. “This snowballs and compounds other issues, like housing payments, food insecurity, lost pay, lost jobs.”

Massachusetts public healthdata show Black and Hispanic residents of the state have seen disproportionate rates of the novel coronavirus, and higher hospitalization rates.  

Nine of the 10 cities and towns with the highest rates of COVID infection are also communities where more than half the residents identify as people of color.

Jill Kaufman has been a reporter and host at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent 10 years at WBUR in Boston, producing "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon and on "Morning Edition" reporting and hosting. She's also hosted NHPR's daily talk show "The Exhange" and was an editor at PRX's "The World."
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