Coronavirus Hit Youngest In Labor Force Hardest, Claim Data Shows

The nonprofit Connecticut Data Collaborative broke down state unemployment claims.

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When it comes to unemployment in Connecticut, certain groups got hit harder than others when coronavirus struck.

The nonprofit Connecticut Data Collaborative broke down state unemployment claims.

It said people 20 to 29 years old accounted for almost 19% of Connecticut unemployment claims between March 15 and May 10, and the next age group, 30 to 39, didn’t fare much better.

Count Hannah Osborne of East Haddam in the 20 to 29 age group.  She said in early March she lost both her job as a waitress and her full-time job working in a legal office.  

“I did just graduate college last year so I feel like it was kind of like I was the person to go because of that," Osborne told NBC Connecticut.

Tony Mikula of New London lost his job around the same time. 

“I’m a bouncer in the entertainment business.  We were one of the first businesses that were closed due to COVID-19."

“When you think of the industries that have been most impacted, they do hire a larger share of younger people," Data Collaborative Executive Director Michelle Riordan-Nold explained.

Those industries include restaurants and hotels, arts, entertainment and recreation, and the self-employed. 

Riordan-Nold said of the self-employed, “That also could be adding to the young people being unemployed.  We have gig economy workers who are considered self-employed.”

Broken down racially, 11%-15% of all whites, African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics filed for unemployment since coronavirus hit…Native Americans stood out however, with 23% filing.

“We do think that is because many Native Americans in Connecticut are employed at the casinos, and they have been shut down because of this crisis,”  Riordan-Nold said.

The data also showed early on that more women than men lost jobs.  More recently though, unemployment claims by women and men are more equal.

There have been signs of hope, however.  Just look at the case of Mikula.   The laid-off military veteran said this week he starts at defense contractor Electric Boat as a pipefitter, a more permanent job.  

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