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Open Access Publications from the University of California

At-Risk Workers of Covid-19 by Neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area


This brief examines the location, racial-ethnic composition, immigrant composition, and socioeconomic circumstances of workers in two sectors highly impacted by COVID-19 related closures: service workers in the hospitality industry and sales workers in the retail industries. Workers in these sectors are more likely to earn low-wages, live in poverty, or identify as people of color – particularly Latinos/Latinas who are the ethnic majority group in the service and hospitality sectors. 51 % of predominantly Latino neighborhoods are characterized as “highest at-risk” with another 32% of Latino neighborhoods characterized as “high risk.” In addition, 48% of the poorest neighborhoods in the Bay Areas have the “highest-at- risk” share of workers. Past studies of influenza epidemics have shown that ethnic minority and low-income populations were impacted more heavily during the 1918 influenza pandemic.

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