LGBTQ + people have experienced higher rates of job loss and health problems during the pandemic

COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the employment of minority populations, resulting in higher unemployment rates and health problems, according to a Rutgers study.

The study, published in Research on sexuality and social policy, examined unemployment rates in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic to identify the specific effects of job loss trends on LGBTQ + populations.

The loss of LGBTQ + jobs has a critical impact on the overall health and well-being of those people who commonly experience marginalization and discrimination. The intersection between financial stability, standard of living and health is an integral equilibrium. Job loss brings additional mental and physical burdens, which can further lead to a public health crisis, as these people lack the housing, financial or health stability required for proper care. “

Perry N. Halkitis, Dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health and Director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies

Researchers used an internet survey to collect a total sample of 1,090 LGBTQ + study participants from May 2020 to July 2020. Participants self-reported all demographic and employment data, which were then compared to averages. countries to identify significant differences.

They found that LGBTQ + people in the United States experienced higher job loss rates, especially for younger people, non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white men, gay cisgender men, less educated people, people who are HIV positive and live with more than two other people.

The results suggest that high job loss rates may be a result of the type of job – those whose work was considered essential as well as those in front-line jobs or in professional positions requiring more education are less likely to face unemployment.

“The survey findings present data that all healthcare workers and policy makers should consider when advocating for minority populations,” Halkitis said. “When individuals face financial hardship, they become vulnerable to deportation and fail to seek appropriate health care, resulting in disruptions in needed care.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone to some extent, with unemployment dramatically increasing across the workforce, data collected indicates that the LGBTQ + community and other minority populations have been the most affected.

This study also highlights the importance of implementing inclusive data collection methods, as one of the first COVID-19 studies to collect demographic information on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“With the full inclusion of information on sexual orientation and gender identity, we are able to better understand unemployment trends among the LGBTQ + population,” says Kristen D. Krause, instructor at Rutgers School of Public Health and Deputy Director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies. “We were able to infer that gay men had higher job loss rates than cisgender women who identify as bisexual or of another orientation. These findings underscore the relevance of including these demographic questions in all national surveys – valid and inclusive data can therefore be used to influence future healthcare decisions.

Source:

Journal reference:

Martino, RJ, et al. (2021) Job loss as a result of COVID-19: A national investigation at the onset of COVID-19 in LGBTQ + populations in America. Research on sexuality and social policy. doi.org/10.1007/s13178-021-00665-9.

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