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Pandemic Unemployment Has Disproportionately Hurt Bronx Residents – The New York Times

(THE NEW YORK TIMES)  Winnie HuJuliana Kim, Jo Corona, December 9, 2020

More than one in four workers in the West Farms neighborhood is out of work.

They were store clerks, hotel housekeepers, waitresses, cooks, for-hire drivers, security officers and maintenance workers before the coronavirus snatched away their livelihoods. Even before the outbreak, most were barely getting by on meager paychecks and scant savings.

Now their hopes for better lives are slipping away as they fall behind on rent, ration food and rack up credit card debt. Unemployment in this poor and largely Latino enclave of 19,000 in the Bronx was in double digits before the outbreak.

It has gotten far worse.

With an unemployment rate of 26 percent in September, West Farms has become an epicenter of New York’s economic crisis, one of the hardest hit urban communities in the country and emblematic of the pandemic’s uneven toll.

Though no corner of the city has escaped the fallout, the mass job losses have been concentrated in mostly Black and Latino pockets outside Manhattan that have long lagged economically behind the rest of the city. Communities like West Farms have also suffered disproportionately from the coronavirus itself, with higher rates of people becoming ill.