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Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession
Source: Pew Research Center

The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families. But even as the economic recovery has begun to mend asset prices, not all households have benefited alike, and wealth inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines.

The wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010.

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2013 Demographics: Profile of the Military Community

December 8, 2014 Comments off

2013 Demographics: Profile of the Military Community (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

Overview of Military Personnel

The total number of military personnel is over 3.6 million strong, including DoD Active Duty military personnel (1,370,329); DHS’s Active Duty Coast Guard members (40,420); DoD Ready Reserve and DHS Coast Guard Reserve members (1,102,419); members of the Retired Reserve (214,938) and Standby Reserve (14,408); and DoD appropriated and non-appropriated fund civilian personnel (874,054). DoD’s Active Duty and DHS’s Coast Guard Active Duty members comprise the largest portion of the military force (39.0%), followed by Ready Reserve members (30.5%) and DoD civilian personnel (24.2%).

United States Life Tables, 2010 (November 6, 2014)

November 10, 2014 Comments off

United States Life Tables, 2010 (PDF)
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Objectives—
This report presents complete period life tables for the United States by race, Hispanic origin, and sex, based on age-specific death rates in 2010.

Methods—
Data used to prepare the 2010 life tables are 2010 final mortality statistics; April 1, 2010 population estimates based on the 2010 decennial census; and 2010 Medicare data for persons aged 66-99. The methodology used to estimate the 2010 life tables was first implemented with data year 2008. The methodology used to estimate the life tables for the Hispanic population remains unchanged from that developed for the publication of life tables by Hispanic origin for data year 2006.

Results—
In 2010, the overall expectation of life at birth was 78.7 years. Between 2009 and 2010, life expectancy at birth increased for all groups considered. Life expectancy increased for both males (from 76.0 to 76.2) and females (80.9 to 81.0) and for the white population (78.8 to 78.9), the black population (74.7 to 75.1), the Hispanic population (81.1 to 81.4), the non-Hispanic white population (78.7 to 78.8), and the non-Hispanic black population (74.4 to 74.7).

Canada’s pay gap

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Canada’s pay gap
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new CCPA study, Narrowing the Gap: The difference pubic sector wages make, compares the wages of full-time public and private sector workers and finds significant gaps in the wages of women, aboriginal workers, and visible minority workers. Those gaps are bigger in the private sector in every instance:

  • University educated aboriginal workers make 44% less than their non-aboriginal peers in the private sector. In the public sector, their wage gap shrinks to 14%.
  • University educated women working in the private sector earn 27% less than men. Their wage gap in the public sector is 18%.
  • University educated visible minority workers take home 20% less than their non-visible minority counterparts. In the public sector, their wage gap is 12%.

Salaries are higher in the public sector precisely for those groups of people who experience the greatest discrimination in the private sector—because the public sector goes further in correcting those discriminatory practices. The result is not higher wages but rather a more equitable system of pay.

Boosting the Life Chances of Young Men of Color

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Boosting the Life Chances of Young Men of Color
Source: MDRC

Despite progress on many fronts, young men of color still face many obstacles to success in American society and suffer disproportionately from economic and social disadvantage. In recent years, foundations and state and local governments have launched major initiatives to address this pressing issue. For example, in 2011, the City of New York created the Young Men’s Initiative, a $42-million annual program, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundation, to invest in the success of the city’s young men of color. In February of this year, the Obama Administration announced “My Brother’s Keeper,” a multimillion-dollar push by the government, foundations, and businesses to “build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color.”

In light of the momentum building to improve the fortunes of young men of color, this review takes a look at what is known about this population and highlights programs that are shown by rigorous research to be making a difference. It first examines the special challenges and struggles of these young men in the labor market, including problems related to their disproportionate involvement in the criminal justice system and their experiences in the educational system. A growing number of young men of color have become disconnected from the positive systems, institutions, and pathways designed to help people achieve success — high school diplomas, enrollment in and completion of postsecondary education or training, and ultimately career ladders leading to well-paying jobs.

Given these facts, the natural next question is: What can be done? Does this group of young men constitute, as some have labeled them, a “lost generation”? Or are there interventions that can provide real hope and real results? Can the nation’s institutions do a better job of increasing educational and labor market opportunity? Is there, in fact, a way to move away from deficit-focused characterizations of young men of color to ones that recognize and build on their resilience and strengths?

The second section of the paper reviews the results from high-quality, randomized controlled trials involving young men of color, some conducted by MDRC and some by other groups. It highlights a number of promising interventions, casting doubt on the conventional wisdom that nothing can be done.

The Equity Solution: Racial Inclusion Is Key to Growing a Strong New Economy

October 27, 2014 Comments off

The Equity Solution: Racial Inclusion Is Key to Growing a Strong New Economy (PDF)
Source: PolicyLink

America is quickly becoming a majority people of color nation. At the same time, inequality is skyrocketing and racial inequities—from the homogeneity of the tech sector to the segregated suburbs of St. Louis—are wide, persistent, and glaring. Equity—just and fair inclusion of all—has always been a moral imperative in this country, but a new consensus is emerging that equity is also an economic imperative. Scores of economists and institutions like Standard & Poor’s and Morgan Stanley now believe that rising inequality and low wages for workers on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder are stifling growth and competitiveness, and that racial inequities threaten economic growth and prosperity as people of color become the majority.

This brief offers new research to inform the debate about equity and the future of the American economy. Using data on income by race, we calculate what total earnings and economic output would have been for the nation in 2012 if racial differ en ces were eliminated and all groups had similar average incomes as non-Hispanic whites. This analysis does not assume that everyone has the same income, rather that the income distribu-tions do not differ by race and ethnicity. We also examine how much of the income gap is attributable to wage differences versus employment differences (measured by hours worked).

In States That Don’t Expand Medicaid, Who Gets New Coverage Assistance Under the ACA and Who Doesn’t?

October 14, 2014 Comments off

In States That Don’t Expand Medicaid, Who Gets New Coverage Assistance Under the ACA and Who Doesn’t? (PDF)
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

In states not expanding Medicaid, 6.3 million uninsured adults who could have qualified for Medicaid are instead ineligible, while 5.9 million other uninsured adults qualify for subsidized, private insurance. We compare these two groups and find the following:

Median income for such ineligible adults is 35 percent below poverty. For eligible adults, it is 175 percent of the federal poverty level. In dollars, median incomes are under $800 a month for the ineligible uninsured and over $2,000 a month for eligible adults. As a result:

  • Only 28.0 percent of uninsured black adults qualify for help paying for health coverage while fully 42.7 percent are ineligible because of nonexpansion. By contrast, more uninsured whites qualify (36.0 percent) than not (32.7 percent).
  • More uninsured women are ineligible than eligible (33.2 percent vs. 27.8 percent). Slightly more uninsured men qualify (30.9 percent) than not (29.7 percent).
  • Uninsured adults who are Hispanic, under age 25, or have at most a high school degree are more likely to be ineligible than eligible. The opposite is true for uninsured adults ages 45 to 64 or with at least some college education.

Uninsured adults ineligible for coverage assistance because of nonexpansion include 4.4 million with a high school degree or less, 3.1 million women, 1.6 million blacks, 1.5 million under age 25, and 1.3 million Latinos.

These contrasts involve coverage assistance that the ACA made available for the first time. However, before the ACA, nonexpansion states already provided Medicaid to 6.5 million adults, and 1.8 million uninsured adults were eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled.

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