The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis resulted in significant hardship for people across the country: Tens of millions of people lost their jobs, unemployment rates increased, and economic activity declined. To mitigate these economic impacts, federal policymakers enacted multiple relief bills, including the American Rescue Plan Act. These investments shortened the recession in the wake of the pandemic and have helped propel a historic economic recovery resulting in the most jobs ever created in a single year, an unprecedented drop in unemployment, and dramatic reductions in the child poverty rate and food insufficiency. However, while the United States is experiencing a more equitable recovery compared with prior recessions, systemic inequities persist, particularly for LGBTQI+ communities.
Using new data from the Household Pulse Survey (HPS), this fact sheet examines the economic security and labor market experiences of LGBT communities since July 2021, when the U.S. Census Bureau took the historic step of adding questions on sexual orientation and gender identity to the HPS. The data reveal that although some LGBT individuals are more likely or just as likely to be employed compared with non-LGBT individuals, they are also more likely to live in households earning below the poverty line and to struggle to make ends meet.
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