The loss of a job is particularly devastating for black and Hispanic workers because a paycheck is often the sole lifeline. Even those with a comfortable income may have little to fall back on. For every $1 of wealth that a white household has, a black one has 10 cents.
“In more normal times, blacks who are working full time have a lower median level of wealth than whites who are unemployed,” said William A. Darity Jr., a public policy professor at Duke University. “And blacks who have a college degree who are heads of households have a median net worth about two-thirds of white heads of households who never finished high school.”