Help Wanted: Creating Equal Opportunities for Minorities


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  • “I would like to request that you bring to this topic all that your research has taught you, all that the research of others has taught you, and what your life experience from working on this problem suggest to you should now be done. In other words what I am most desirous of is that you bring with you the implication section of your life’s work.” -Larry E. Davis, Director, Center on Race and Social Problems
  • We want this conference to be very down to earth and practical. We would like for each presentation to contain three parts: 1) a brief discussion addressing the state of some existing social problem; 2) a review of factors contributing to the cause and maintenance of the problem; and most importantly, 3) what should now be done to address this problem at the local, state and/or national levels.
  • This map compares city and county poverty rates across the country. The blue dots represent cities with poverty rates above 20%, while the red areas represent counties with poverty rates above 20%.
  • This map represents poverty by metro area. Red areas have a poverty rate above the national rate, while the cream colored metro areas have a poverty rate below the national rate.
  • This map represents unemployment rate by county. Red areas are above the national rate, while cream-colored areas are below the national unemployment rate. Maps like this one show the need for targeted investment as we seek national economic recovery.
  • The past 7 months of unemployment data reveal that while there is a slow, general turn taking place in employment, the same cannot be said for particular groups. The non-White unemployment rate has been more volatile throughout the recovery.
  • The most recent unemployment figures by race and gender
  • The most recent unemployment figures by race and age.
  • Link to study on inequality among unemployment and incarceration:
  • Link to data source:
  • The most recent figures on Federal ARRA contract procurement to minority-owned businesses.
  • This chart shows how the share of contracts and contract value going to firms owned by non-Whites and/or women has grown throughout the implementation of ARRA. Initially, these firms were getting small contracts, and a smaller share of all contracts being procured. Since September of 2009, however, these firms have received a greater share of all contracts, and are receiving larger contracts (on average) than they did during the initial months of ARRA.
  • The targeted “tenth” of this $114.8 billion represents an even smaller portion of the full Recovery package when you consider the tax credits and incentives. $12 billion out of $787 billion is a drop in the bucket…
  • Homestar Program: Jobs For America Act:
  • Questions?...
  • Help Wanted: Creating Equal Opportunities for Minorities

    1. 1.
    2. 2. Help Wanted: Creating Equal Opportunities for Minorities<br />john a. powell<br />Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity<br />
    3. 3. Today’s Discussion - Overview<br />What is happening?<br />An unusual recession/economic crisis<br />A deep and uneven recession/economic crisis<br />Implications?<br />Long term<br />The response<br />Our Critique<br />What needs to happen<br />
    4. 4. What’s happening?<br />A deep and prolonged recession<br />Source: U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis<br />Source: Center for Budget & Policy Priorities<br />
    5. 5. Uneven Impacts Across various dimensions<br />An uneven recession with many disparate impacts<br />Race, Age, Gender, Geography, Educational Attainment, Occupation<br />Intersections where the recession cuts deep<br />From recession to economic crisis<br />Underemployment Rate by Race July 2007 to Nov 2009<br />(Calculated by the Economic Policy Institute)<br />
    6. 6. An Uneven Recession: Geography<br />Percent of Population in Poverty: 2006-2008<br />Source: American Community Survey<br />
    7. 7. Unemployment by Metro Area<br />December 2009 (national unemployment: 9.7%)<br />Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics *not seasonally adjusted <br />
    8. 8. Unemployment by County<br />December 2009 (national unemployment: 9.7%)<br />Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics *not seasonally adjusted <br />
    9. 9. Intersections: Geography & Race<br />Source: Economic Policy Institute (EPI)<br />
    10. 10. Recovery, Jobs, and Equity<br />National Unemployment Rates by Race<br />Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics<br />
    11. 11. Jobs, Race, and Gender<br />May Unemployment Rates by Race and Gender<br />Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics<br />
    12. 12. Jobs, Race, and Age<br />May Unemployment Rates by Race and Age<br />Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics<br />
    13. 13. Unemployment, Incarceration, and Inequality<br />In 1998, unemployment reached a 30-year low of 4.5%<br />In 1998, the incarceration rate reached its highest point in U.S. history, with 1.78 million men in prisons and jails.<br />What does this mean for the true unemployment in African American communities?<br />Source: Bruce Western; Incarceration, Unemployment, and Inequality<br />
    14. 14. Unemployment, Incarceration, and Inequality<br />Percent of U.S. population in racial group under correctional supervision<br />Source: US Bureau of Justice Statistics<br />
    15. 15. Larger Racial Impacts than Previous Recessions<br />Figures taken from Howard J. Wall’s, “The Effects of Recessions Across Demographic Groups.” <br />Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Sept. 2009<br />
    16. 16. Long Term Impacts & Implications: Recession Generation?<br />Sources: U.S. Census (ACS), Annie E. Casey Foundation<br />
    17. 17. Long Term Impacts & Implications<br />A “recession generation”, As New York Times columnist Bob Herbert stated: <br />“…there is little doubt that poverty and family homelessness are rising, that the quality of public education in many communities is deteriorating and that legions of children are losing access to health care as their parents join the vastly expanding ranks of the unemployed. This is a toxic mix for children, a demoralizing convergence of factors that have long been known to impede the ability of young people to flourish.”<br />Bob Herbert. “Children in Peril”, The New York Times. April 20th 2009. <br />
    18. 18. The Response<br />Our research/critique<br />American Recovery Reinvestment Act (stimulus)<br />Has ARRA helped communities in greatest need?<br />Yes and No<br />Data challenges make “equity” assessment extremely challenging<br />Many areas for improvement<br />Additional jobs bills?<br />
    19. 19. Has ARRA Helped High Need Communities? <br />Positives – preventing “draconian” state budget cuts<br />Keeping families out of poverty<br />Note: Includes 2010 shortfalls<br />Source: Center for Budget & Policy Priorities<br />
    20. 20. State Relief: More Challenges to Come – What is the Response (State & Federal)<br />Source: Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, Congressional Budget Office<br />
    21. 21. ARRA Contracts and Equity<br />Federal ARRA Contract Procurement as of May 7th<br />Source: Federal Procurement Data System, US Census 2002 Economic Survey of Business Owners<br />
    22. 22. ARRA Contracts and Equity<br />Women-owned, Latino-owned, Black-owned, and Asian-owned businesses account for 28.2%, 6.8%, 5.2%, and 4.8% of all U.S. businesses respectively, according to the US Census Bureau, 2002 Economic Census Survey of Business Owners<br />Source: Federal Procurement Data System<br />
    23. 23. ARRA Contracts and Equity<br />Federal ARRA Contract Procurement: 1st half vs. 2nd half<br />Source: Federal Procurement Data System<br />
    24. 24. The Need for Targeted Universalism<br />Universal goals require a more targeted approach<br />Source: Government Accountability Office (GAO)<br />
    25. 25. Universal Approach of ARRA<br />Administration has taken a “race-lite” approach to public investment.<br />Examples of targeted investment (like N.S.P.) represent a relatively small portion of an otherwise universal package.<br />Budget stabilization funds keep communities of color afloat, but don’t recover or develop.<br />Rising tides…don’t lift all boats equally.<br />
    26. 26. A Broader “Equity” Recovery Platform<br /><ul><li>Assuring civil rights compliance, tracking and data on recovery and recession
    27. 27. More targeted investment (geography, race, areas of need)
    28. 28. More investment in broader community infrastructure (not just roads)
    29. 29. Connecting marginalized workers to the growth sectors in the “new” economy</li></ul>E.g. Linking green economy initiatives to worker training <br /><ul><li>New $6 billion Homestar Program
    30. 30. Local Jobs For America Act (HR 4812)</li></li></ul><li>The Kirwan Institute’s Recent Work<br />The most recently proposed jobs bill<br />Targeted economic investments and job relief programs with universal goals<br />Targeting by geography/race/need<br />More proactive (and mandatory) minority business procurement activities<br />This also needs to be tied to more long term solutions<br />Education/training, preparing for the new economy<br />Addressing state budget challenges (at the state level and the federal level)<br />Addressing structural issues<br />
    31. 31. Help Wanted: Creating Equal Opportunities for Minorities<br />john a. powell<br />Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity<br />