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Charts of the Week: Voters by race; hazard pay for essential workers; slowing economic growth as coronavirus surges

Metro exit poll data

In this edition of Charts of the Week: changing voter coalitions in the 2020 election; increase hazard pay for America’s essential workers; slowing growth in the U.S. amidst a coronavirus surge.

SHIFTING SUPPORT FOR CANDIDATES BY RACE IN 2020 ELECTION

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The results of the 2020 presidential election point to changes in support from different racial groups. William Frey examined Edison Research exit polls that show the white voter share for Trump declining overall, while the voter share from Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Asian voters dropped for Democrat Joe Biden relative to 2016. Frey notes that the Democratic margin from Black voters was the lowest since 2004, and the Democratic margins from Latino or Hispanic and Asian American voters of 33 percent and 27 percent were the lowest since 2004 and 2008, respectively. “The 2020 results suggest neither party can rely solely on those particular sets of voters,” Frey observes. But, “there is no doubt that changing demographics—especially rising diversity—will benefit Democrats in the long run.”

INCREASING HAZARD PAY FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS CAN ADDRESS RACIAL EQUITY

Fig2Molly Kinder, Laura Stateler and Julia Du make the case for hazard pay for America’s essential frontline workers as the country is gripped by a third peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They point out that “Black and Latino or Hispanic workers are overrepresented among low-wage frontline essential workers.” The chart shows that while Black workers comprise only 13 percent of the U.S. workforce, they make up 19 percent of all low-wage, essential frontline workers. The numbers are even higher for Latino or Hispanic workers. “Hazard pay targeted to low-wage essential workers,” they argue, “would disproportionately benefit workers of color, who too often are excluded from decent-paying work.”

US ECONOMIC RECOVERY LOSES STEAM AMID COVID-19 SURGE

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As COVID-19 cases begin to resurge across the U.S., the economy is experiencing a sluggish growth pace. Amid these alarming trends, Sarah Crump, MaryAnn Placheril, and Alan Berube observe that unemployment rates have been rising across Sun Belt metro areas, while small business openings and hours worked are decreasing, especially in metro areas in the Midwest. The chart signals a slowing recovery as September marked the lowest increase in jobs since the economic rebound in May. Across 191 metro areas surveyed, only 635,000 jobs were added in September, compared to 1.1 million in August. “Notwithstanding some variation across the map,” they write. “September ushered in a new, more uncertain phase of the economic recovery after a summer characterized by relatively steady progress.”

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