Kyle Moore, economist with the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), talks about a new report from EPI that examines the economic impact of Civil Rights-era legislation and where gaps remain.
A new report shows 60 years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, economic disparities continue to plague Black America due to a lack of legislation in the post-civil rights era.
The Economic Policy Institute, in its report, notes that gaps in home ownership, wealth and wages continue to keep one of the march’s goals — economic justice — out of reach for many Black people.
The barriers to economic equity include “occupational segregation, discrimination, hiring and pay inequity, equitable pathways to promotion, a stagnant minimum wage and falling union coverage,” Adewale A. Maye, policy analyst in the institute’s program on race, ethnicity and the economy, told theGrio.
According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, a national $15 minimum wage by 2025 would raise the incomes of tens of millions of workers, including servers in restaurants, grocery store employees, and essential health care workers as well as two million direct care workers who provide long-term services and supports.
Part of the problem is teachers’ low pay compared with that of other workers with similar education levels, according to a 2022 report by the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that advocates for lower- and middle-income workers. Median pay for high-school teachers was $61,820 a year in 2021, according to the most recent Labor Department data, with 10% of them earning less than $46,090.
“If you look at women’s labour force participation, it’s really bounced and it’s back on track as if Covid hadn’t happened,” said Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Department of Labor who is now director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute. “But it is still way below peer countries who have better childcare policies, better leave policies, better support for part-time work — all these things that provide support in the world we live in where women still shoulder disproportionate responsibility for caregiving . . . there’s still a long way to go,” she added.
We have made great strides towards fulfilling the core of the promissory note regarding job, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities. This is evident as data from the Economic Policy Institute shows that the overall poverty rate for African Americans decreased by more than 12% between 1968 and 2016. The gap in educational attainment between Blacks and Whites has also declined. In a recent interview with The Hill, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, chief of Race, Wealth and Community for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, explained that whites now have 1.7 times “the four-year college attainment level of Blacks,” down from 2.4 in 1962. Yet, disparities still exist for Blacks in homeownership and wealth equity, areas that civil rights organizations will continue to address.
As a group, Black workers are paid less than white workers, earning 76 cents to every $1 earned by white Americans, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In Maine, Black workers earn only 63 percent of what white workers make.
The gap is larger now than it was 40 years ago, and it can’t be explained by differences in education and skills, the Economic Policy Institute concluded in a recent analysis.
Black Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed than white Americans. The disparity is a little smaller in Maine.
But as they talk about inflation and the economy in the abstract, residents of the popular vacation destination are very much feeling the realities of their policies. That’s because Jackson Hole is the most economically unequal place in the United States, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Other economic disparities have also persisted into the present day. Among Americans who are employed, research from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) showed the typical Black worker made more than 24 percent less than their white counterparts per hour in 2019 — a figure the group noted was about 8 percentage points higher than it was four decades earlier.
Along with helping people nationally, the bill would provide significant benefits for workers in Maine, according to a fact sheet released Tuesday by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a left-leaning think tank. EPI examined the impacts the legislation would have in congressional districts around the country.
In Maine’s 1st Congressional District, based in the southern part of the state, the measure would boost the wages of about 50,000 people, or around 15.8% of those employed. The bill would add $70 million in total annual wages for workers in that district.
We can’t in good conscience support this merger unless we have ironclad guarantees that middle-class jobs will not be jeopardized. Without such guarantees, the Kroger-Albertsons deal could cost American workers more than $300 million annually, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.
Colorado State Treasurer David Young joined treasurers from multiple states in opposing a merger between grocery chains Kroger and Albertsons in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition.
“We believe that this merger may have significant adverse effects on the financial well-being of the people of our states,” the letter reads. “We respectfully request that the Federal Trade Commission oppose this merger”
Young was joined by treasurers from Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington. Kroger owns King Soopers, while Albertsons owns Safeway. Both are popular grocery chains in Colorado.
The seven states noted wages as their primary concern, citing a study by the Economic Policy Institute that found the merger could result in $334 million in lost wages for 746,000 grocery store workers in 50 metro areas across the country. That would equal an average wage decrease of about $450 per year per worker, according to the study.
The Labor Department concluded or resolved a record-low number of wage and hour investigations on farms in fiscal 2022, continuing a yearslong decline, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute.
Staffing and funding are likely to blame, the left-leaning institute said, along with factors related to the expansion of the H-2A temporary farmworker program.
The Biden administration has found fewer back wages owed to farmworkers than the Trump administration, EPI said; however, it has levied more civil money penalties.
“Efforts to protect farmworkers have slid backward, with the number of investigations falling even further behind the already record-low levels during the Trump administration, likely due to the Wage and Hour Division being too underfunded and understaffed for the size of the task at hand,” Daniel Costa, one of the report authors, said in a press release.
The claim that teachers are underpaid largely focuses on what teachers unions and progressive advocates call the “teacher pay penalty.” In the formulation of the Economic Policy Institute, a left-wing think tank, “public school teachers earn about 20 percent less in weekly wages than nonteacher college graduates.” That may be true. But is it relevant? Would anyone argue that all occupations requiring a college degree should pay equivalent salaries?
The Economic Policy Institute report, “Chasing the dream of equity,” released this month to commemorate the anniversary of the 1963 march, finds that little progress has been made in removing barriers to the full equitable integration of Black Americans into the U.S. economy. Among its key findings: The racial wealth gap — a typical white family has eight times the wealth of the typical Black family — is a long-standing vestige of centuries of government policies that explicitly denied African Americans the opportunity to build wealth.
Marc H. Morial is president and CEO of the National Urban League and former mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002.
This means women in the state would have to work until they were 72 to match what a man made by the time he turned 60.
The gap “can be tremendous,” said Elise Gould, a senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute. “It means that women on average have less economic security, less retirement security, and don’t have the same opportunities for meeting a decent standard of living.”
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Economic Policy Institute: “The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law a year ago this week. It is widely seen as the crown jewel of the “industrial policy” agenda of the Biden administration. While no piece of legislation is perfect, the full potential of the IRA to deliver a radically better future is often underrated. In this post, we highlight many of the IRA’s huge steps forward and also talk about the unfinished agenda for securing faster, fairer, and greener growth in the U.S. economy.” [Blogpost, 8/14/23]
Economic Policy Institute: “Put simply, the IRA puts the U.S. on a path where meeting its global climate change commitments is within reach—commitments which would provide a genuine chance at securing a livable planet for future generations if they are kept. At the beginning of August 2022, there was no such path to secure this livable future, but there is now—and that is a mammoth victory.” [Blogpost, 8/14/23]
An inability to retain qualified and experienced professionals can have serious implications for the wider staffing of schools. A 2022 Economic Policy Institute report indicated that 23% of all U.S. public schools had at least 5% of their positions vacant during the 2021-22 school year. More than half of schools reported that those vacancies were due to resignations and 21% stated they were due to retirements.
For those seeking to delve deeper into the statistics and context surrounding the Black unemployment rate in the United States, additional information can be found through reputable sources such as the BLS or the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).