Impact of COVID-19 on Foreign Workers in The USA

The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for the whole world especially the mass which is termed, foreign workers. In many countries, the living conditions and working conditions of migrant labor have made a lifelong memory in the minds of the people.The economic impact of the pandemic has cost immense losses of jobs and business, along with them the travel restrictions have made it hard to go back home from a foreign land. The Impact of COVID-19 on foreign workers including all professionals whether local or national, have been huge.

Maximum countries that had imposed lockdowns have closed banks and money-transfer offices, marooned migrants have not been able to send money overseas to their families to support in such hard and unpredictable situations.

Under lockdown, foreign and domestic workers’ have faced numerous unstable situations, according to a new report about the foreign workers in the USA especially during the COVID-19 crisis, released by United Nation. Many have not left with any other choice but to work, despite the current pandemic, while many of them have accepted to work without pay, which has also given them the challenge to pay rent or any commodity.

Impact of Covid-19 on Foreign Workers in Troubled Times

Some of the issue and impact of COVID-19 on foreign workers is that migrants faces in the USA include, working at unhygienic places or unsafe environments, while at the same time looking after elderly or children who have been under the more danger zones or more likely to be affected or die because of the pandemic and virus. Some domestic workers have also faced issues regarding Personal Protective Equipment while every day they have to interact with others outside their work environment or household who have tested positive for the virus, which is also not known to them. The interaction has also caused some infections to the workers.

Extra workloads especially for the service provider have increased the ordinary workloads in the house, such as cooking and cleaning tasks. Almost over 50% of domestic migrant workers have had to work extra hours, without extra pay or compensated hours, and under difficult situations, IOM CREST reports.

Since official recommendations are not to leave the house, domestic workers have reported being unable to refuse to work on their day off or even take a night off.

Workers working in the USA as a medical helper or any sector as paid or unpaid under any sector have not been receiving accurate access to health care and infrastructure.

Daily Struggles for Foreign Workers

All over the world, people have been suffering because of a reduction in their monthly or daily wages. In other cases, domestic workers have reported reduced working hours, loss of wages, and/or unemployment as a result of decreased economic activity or unemployment.

Few reports by IOM mention 70% of domestic workers in the Americas have been affected by other methods taken by the government including quarantine measures which have led to a reduction of working hours or the loss of work for foreign workers in the USA. For foreign workers who traveled solely for employment purposes, the pandemic and the measures that have induced unemployment can increase their risk of survival in the country after the loss of the job.

The most tragic loss in the COVID-19 years has been the loss of home. Many foreign workers have been forced to move to the streets, after losing their homes along with their jobs, also risking their health vulnerabilities and the need for physical and mental health assistance and support. Low-skilled labor migrants have found shelters in crowded dormitories which have also been disproportionately affected by the pandemic or the people who stayed there before under unhygienic conditions.

It has been noticed that many international migrants are a highly heterogeneous group. In other words, it can be stated that foreign worker groups in the USA or any other part of the world are found to be affected the most and have been victims in spreading the infection fastest and among their people.

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the risks the groups of the population, and labor the serious consequences for domestic workers in the United States. The pandemic has attracted the importance to extend social welfare and labor protections for all migrant workers, involving some new guidelines for the under such pandemic. It is noted that such a crisis does create a new step towards labor rights, maintenance, settled workplace, or residence for the foreign workers in a country like the USA.

Due to the certain COVID‑19 pandemic, the USA authorities have made efforts to add some set of additional objectives among the workers both domestic and foreign. To spread awareness of the virus, the USA government has provided workers with timely and accurate information on the pandemic itself, provided medical services and the guideline of Do’s and Dont’s in the public as well as private free space.

Before the pandemic itself the nature of the recruiters or employers was quite specific such as they tend to be more selective during slack labor market conditions, and characteristics such as language difficulties, which may hamper productivity, are used to screen out immigrant applicants.

Employment Crisis and Other Effects

The crisis, with a lasting negative impact on long-term employment offers and contracts between workers and the recruiters. The pandemic particularly affected employees especially those working in the services sectors where immigrants are largely hired and required. This is particularly the case for hotel, hospital, and security and cleaning services, which have been in demand at the highest and have also been hard hit during the lockdown.

Foreign workers are also the ones who have to work as freelancers, or businessmen or working in small enterprises for a temporary time. Start-ups have also been affected drastically due to the COVID-19 as the investment that they require to the success of such start-ups lost their infrastructure and investment in these harsh times.

In countries like the USA where large job retention schemes have been put in place and where temporary employment is less frequent, most of the effects have shown an increase in unemployment and depressions. The latter may even be accompanied by an increase in mental hazards and illnesses. In other cases, increases in fatigue and obesity may absorb most of the effect.

In the United States, while overall unemployment, according to some reports has reached its peak of 14.4% in just a single month of April, it dropped to 8.5% in August 2020. Before the pandemic, the unemployment rate for immigrants was lower than that of the foreign workers, but it is now 2 percentage points higher than the unemployment rate for an indigenous group of population.

In a context of declining activity, increases in unemployment and mental health hazards will reflect the higher weight of the unemployed under lower employment figures. While for most countries, increases in unemployment were associated with declines in employment rates, but of course, there are exceptions in few countries. These data or surveys may help in understanding the usage of the labor force in the early days of the pandemic and analysis after a whole year of the pandemic, administrative data provide a more clear picture.

Ultimately, the understanding of why immigrants’ labor market integration will largely depend on the evolving overall economic conditions, including for the impact on specific sectors – and here the outlook is not good, considering immigrants’ strong overrepresentation in those services sectors most likely to be the most struggling sector which has been proven right in last few years.

Students and Education in The Pandemic

For the citizens of the country and the educational development online learning has been the new model to support students’ learning. Students with immigrant parents tend to have faced more diverse difficulties in understanding the new techs because of the lower education and poorer socio-economic resources and less awareness among the parents as well as compared to the indigenous or Native American parents.

In any case, while the potential learning loss may be largely temporary, other elements associated with the absence of traditional schoolings, such as lower educational aspirations or disengagement from the school system, can have a long-term impact on students’ outcomes.

Educational losses have been the highest and are certainly not reparable. Students staying with their parents are facing much economic crisis and mental instability of their parents.

Many graduating in the times of this pandemic have the worries related to their uncertain profession and career build-ups than ever. The jobs that will or will not be available in the market for the students passing out are unpredictable.

The uncertainty for students in the USA is very much similar to the students in the rest of the world. Every single one of them is seeing their parents in trouble and feels helpless as the impact of COVID-19 on foreign workers. The desire to help their parents economically can only be fulfilled if there is a secured job for them or a certain career option.

The education system has changed its methods entirely in other parts of the world as well along with the USA.

Tisha Garcia

I write with any knowledge that I have about this world, the words that I write are the reflection of my thought and how I see the world. I have written blogs about diverse things and still tried to share some knowledge about the things that I have seen and gained. Written words are just an inside thought of my mind which I would love to share and explore more.