A new study shows racial income and employment gaps hurt all of us.
In Rochester, 22 percent of the population was made up of racial minorities in 2010. Our GDP would go up 9 percent – about $4 billion if inequality was reduced. In Rochester, most of the racial income gap is due to unemployment – 66 percent, meaning minorities have higher jobless rates. The rest is due to wage differences, meaning minorities earn less money.
Why is this happening? PolicyLink says:
Lack of access to high-quality education at all levels, from preK to college, accounts for a large portion of differences in employment and income by race, but does not fully explain the gap. Broader economic trends—a dearth of job opportunities overall, fewer “middle-skill” jobs that offer path ways to good careers for people without four-year college degrees, and stagnant and declining wages in the growing low-wage sector where people of color are overrepresented—play a role. Racial discrimination in hiring, promotions, and wages, and barriers to employment related to immigration status, criminal records, and lack of reliable transportation factor in as well.
What do we do now? PolicyLink has some suggestions:
1. Create new good jobs.
2. Raise the floor on low-wage work.
3. Strengthen schools and job training programs.
The authors say focusing on this issue is imperative, as people of color will make up the majority of the population in the United State in the coming years. Focusing on inequality could help everyone.
Help Me Reach My Goal – And Help Women In Need!
I’m the honorary chairperson of an event Sunday that will help women and girls climb out of poverty and be economically self-sufficient. The Women’s Foundation of the Genesee Valley is holding its first 5k and Walk. The Women’s Foundation gives grants to groups that provide job training, financial literacy classes and other kinds of support to help women get on their feet – and stay there. Thanks to readers of this blog, I’m not too far from my goal of raising $1,000. Will you consider even a small donation of $5? Thank you!
Links of the Day:
– Compensation has shrunk for all income groups, except at the very highest levels, writes Brighton’s David Cay Johnston.
– Cars remain king – and a barrier to economic opportunity.
– Developers keep building in Victor, even though the Rochester region’s population is not growing. This is sprawl with no growth.
– Rochester will not be getting its own billion under Cuomo.
– The sometimes strange relationship between the Clintons and the Cuomos.
– A girl scalded by coffee at a Buffalo Denny’s won a $500,000 settlement.
– “It comes down to Pittsford not wanting tattooed people in their town.”