Fed's Bostic says the pandemic widened economic disparities

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic participates in a panel discussion at the American Economic Association/Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) 2019 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry

(Reuters) – The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated economic inequalities that existed before the crisis, leading to greater employment losses for women, Black workers and people in rural areas, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said on Wednesday.

“The virus exploited existing weaknesses in our economy

just as it exploited preexisting conditions in individual human bodies,” Bostic said in remarks prepared for an event organized by the Chautauqua Institution.

Women experienced a greater drop in employment than men, in part because they disproportionately work in service sector jobs, he said. Black workers could face a slow recovery as the economy rebounds from the crisis because of longstanding racial disparities in employment, he said.

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