Tag: Economic Policy Institute

50 years after Kerner and King, racism still matters

50 years after Kerner and King, racism still matters

What white Americans have never fully understood — but what the Negro can never forget — is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto.
White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it and white society condones it.” — Kerner Commission Report, 1968 Fifty years ago today, the public assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rocked our nation.
According to the Economic Policy Institute’s recent report, “With respect to homeownership, unemployment and incarceration, America has failed to deliver any progress for African-Americans over the last five decades.
In these areas, their situation either has failed to improve relative to whites or has worsened.
Officially called the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, the Kerner Commission identified systemic racism and poverty as the causes of the major black rebellions in Newark and Detroit the previous summer.
Discrimination and segregation have long permeated much of American life; they now threaten the future of every American.” “This deepening racial division is not inevitable,” the report concluded.
In our recent Economic Inclusion Reports on Baltimore, Charlotte and St. Louis — three cities impacted by protests and revolts linked to police violence and misconduct — the NAACP noted “similarities between the past economic realities of African-Americans during Reconstruction and legalized racism and the current economic realities more than 150 years after the abolishment of slavery and promise of freedom.” For example, the mid-2000 housing crisis caused by Wall Street excesses led to trillions of dollars in bailouts and the decimation of major portions of African-American wealth — wrapped up in their foreclosed homes.
Our reports further detailed the continued reality that African-Americans are “still living in highly segregated communities and school districts, comprising the lowest median household income, highest unemployment rate, highest poverty rate and ongoing barriers to the creation of small businesses.” In other words, “the promise of freedom remains averted by racial discrimination.” As leader of the oldest and largest civil rights group, I recognize the temporal connection between America’s past and present identity and the pestilent wound caused by a continuing legacy of racism.
The Negro is still at the bottom of the economic ladder.
As we remember King and Kerner, we will do so not in solemn reflection but instead with resolve and planning to make the social and political healing America has deferred become a reality.

African-American college graduation rates hit all-time high, but economic outcomes lag

African-American college graduation rates hit all-time high, but economic outcomes lag

Getty Images After the Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 assassination sparked riots across the U.S., President Lyndon B. Johnson commissioned a report to examine the roots of unrest in black communities.
“White racism” leading to discrimination in unemployment, education and housing, the report found.
Here’s what else the EPI report found: • Only 40% of black Americans own homes in the U.S., virtually unchanged since 1968 and a full 30 percentage points lower than the home-ownership rate among white Americans.
• The rate of incarceration for black Americans is more than six times that of white Americans today, and it tripled between 1968 and 2016.
• In 1968, more than one-third (34.7%) of black Americans lived in poverty, and today the share is just one in five (21.4%).
There has also been substantial progress in high school degree attainment for African-Americans, the EPI study found: In 1968, only 54% of black Americans graduated high school while today 92% get a high school diploma.
Public schools are underfunded, college tuition has soared Although there have been gains in education, many high schools are not setting African-American students up for success in college, John Taylor, chief executive officer of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a non-profit that promotes economic fairness for underserved communities said.
“It is ridiculous we do not have a commitment nationally to educate our young people — that doesn’t bode well for our country as a whole.” African-Americans were targeted with predatory loans White families are also ahead in the housing market.
Non-white Americans are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed, have the most difficulty paying unexpected bills, and are “far less likely” than white Americans to have established financial tools like bank accounts and credit cards.

1 in 5 black men did not work in 2016, study says

1 in 5 black men did not work in 2016, study says

“It’s staggering that this level of black men are disconnected from the workforce,” says Janelle Jones, an analyst at the Economic Policy Institute who co-authored a recently published, wide-ranging report on hours worked by all workers ages 25 to 54.
For white and Hispanic men between the ages of 25 and 54, the figure was 10% and 11% in 2016, respectively.
Over 21% of black men did not work at all in 2016.
In December, black unemployment hit an all-time low of 6.8%, according to the Labor Department data that goes back to 1972.
After Jay-Z criticized Trump in an interview with CNN’s Van Jones, Trump tweeted, “Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED.”
The white unemployment rate is 3.5%, Hispanic unemployment 5%, Asian unemployment 3%. “If the white unemployment rate was 7%, nobody would say ‘mission accomplished,'” says Jones.
As for the high number of out-of-work black men in their prime working years, Jones says a collage of factors are at play.
The majority of nonworking, prime age black men are out of a job involuntarily — that is, they want to work.
The EPI study examined hours across demographics and gender between 1979 and 2016.

The economy added 200,000 jobs in January

The economy added 200,000 jobs in January

“Minimum-wage increases go into effect in January,” Bahn said.
Trump had also claimed credit for declining unemployment among African Americans, noting in his State of the Union address it had reached the “lowest levels in history.” The decline appears to have hit a bump.
The unemployment rate among African Americans went to 7.7 percent in January, up from 6.8 percent in December.
Black unemployment had been declining steadily from a high of 15.5 percent in 2010.
“The declining trend in unemployment overall and among African Americans is something President Trump inherited,” she said.
Other factors beyond federal policy influence job growth, including the business cycle, consumer confidence and international economic conditions.
The January jobs figure will be revised twice in coming months after the initial estimate is released.
In Friday’s report, federal economists slightly adjusted their December estimate, now saying 160,000 jobs were added rather than their initial estimate of 148,000.
They also released a final estimate for November, revising it down to 216,000 from a previous figure of 252,000.
The figures have a margin for error of about 100,000 in either direction, another reason economists advocate looking at longer-term averages over single month reports.

8 Ways To Save More Money In Retirement
Social Security Disability

8 Ways To Save More Money In Retirement

8 Ways to Boost Your Income in Retirement If you’re nearing retirement and finding the math doesn’t work out, it may be possible to find a semi-retirement solution that lets you leave your traditional job while earning money on the side.
Need more money in retirement?
“Many of them rent out their home for the whole summer,” says Carbone.
How about making your own hours to earn some extra cash as you go along?
The average hourly earnings for an Uber driver is $19.04.
“And if you can find one, participating in a live focus group can earn you a few hundred dollars just for a few hours of your time.” This may not lead to a huge income, but any extra money you can earn in retirement will certainly help.
Best of all, these opportunities are easy to take advantage of at home, and in your spare time.
The best part about consulting is that you can usually work on your own time, do your work in whatever way suits your talents and skills, and charge as much money as the market will bear.
Most virtual assistants make at least $15 per hour working from home, but many charge a lot more.
The key to making work in retirement fulfilling, according to Sullivan, is for retirees to “find something they love.” And that might be the most important lesson of all — if you must work during retirement, you should strive to find something that’s fulfilling and fun.

This Year’s College Grads Are The Luckiest In A Decade

This Year’s College Grads Are The Luckiest In A Decade

New graduates’ wages are rising faster than those of most other groups; the typical recent college graduate earned $13 an hour in the first three months of this year, up 50 cents an hour from a year earlier.
Those who did find jobs were often stuck working part-time or in low-wage positions that didn’t require a college degree.
Worse, the slow improvement of the labor market meant many young graduates remained underemployed for years; research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has found that the underemployment rate among recent graduates has only recently begun to improve.
The typical recession-era graduate with a full-time job — one of the lucky few, in other words — earned approximately $7,000 less in the first six years of work than someone who graduated just a few years earlier.2 This is a rough estimate.
The Current Population Survey doesn’t ask respondents the year they graduated, so instead I identified three cohorts of college graduates: those who were age 21 to 24 in 2005 (and therefore graduated before the recession began), those who were 21 to 24 in 2009 (meaning most of them graduated during the recession) and those who were in that age range in 2012 (and thus graduated after the recession and its immediate aftermath had ended).
Americans who graduated in the recession earned as much in 2015 as their older peers did at an equivalent point in their careers (albeit in part because for the older group, those years were during the recession).
Those who graduated a few years after the recession ended are earning as much, adjusted for inflation, as those who graduated before the downturn began.
Oh, right, the debt One more note on the class of 2016: It’s a good thing they’ll have jobs, because they’ll also have a record amount of student debt.
(That figure is the average among those who borrowed, as seven out of 10 did.)
A separate analysis from the Brookings Institution this week showed that college graduates with debt still have a much higher homeownership rate than young people without college degrees.