Press Release

LGBT Workers Face Increased Economic Hardships, New Analysis Shows

June 26, 2024

Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-293-5380 x104Mail_Outline

Washington DC — The living standards of LGBT people are lower than their cis-hetero counterparts, with income instability driving these disparities. A new analysis by CEPR’s Alex Richwine and Julie Cai reports the latest numbers on an increasingly prevalent phenomenon: month-to-month income swings driven by the prevalence of the gig economy and unstable shift work.

The analysis uses the acronym LGBT as an umbrella term encompassing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Other identities are often included in this acronym, but data limitations precluded analysis of those groups.

New data show how the well-being of many LGBT workers is impacted by the economic hardship exacerbated by inconsistent income streams. The main findings include:

    • LGBT workers in the US struggle with issues of economic precarity at a significantly higher rate than their cis-hetero counterparts.
    • While 41 percent of LGBT workers struggle with the affordability of medical care, 24 percent of non-LGBT workers struggle with this.
    • Faced with a sudden $400 expense, 44 percent of LGBT workers would need to borrow money to cover it, while 31 percent of non-LGBT workers would need to borrow.
    • Disparities in economic well-being for LGBT workers are exacerbated for people of color, especially Black workers.
    • Issues of income instability are driving these disparities. Among LGBT people, those with stable income streams struggle with economic precarity at significantly lower rates than those with inconsistent income.

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