|| Print ||
|Monday, May 10, 2010|
Those new jobs did nothing to dent the unemployment rate, which actually rose to 9.9 percent nationally as of last week’s figures (fueled by previously discouraged workers looking for jobs again, thus being counted again). Oregon’s current rate of 10.6 percent is sure to go up in concert when it is calculated and released next week.
Those figures are bad enough, but if you are a person of color, they’re even worse. A 152-page report issued late last week takes a deep dive into the social and economic trends in Multnomah County’s minority communities, and it isn’t good news. The report, the first of seven to be issued by the Communities of Color Coalition in partnership with Portland State University, bluntly summarizes the state of those communities in the county: “We are a uniquely toxic place for people of color.”
Minorities make up about 26 percent of the county’s population, growing from about 15 percent in 1990. The report examines many issues: education, poverty, health care, crime, income levels, early childhood, and civic engagement. But I always go looking for the jobs and employment information in any research because having a job is a root solution to so many problems.
For minorities in Multnomah County, the report finds the economic picture fairly bleak. It states that the unemployment rates nationally for minority communities was 13.7 percent as of May 2009, the latest figures available (none are available at the local level). That calculates to minorities being 76% worse off than the white population — and the figures do not even capture the economic devastation of the past two years.
The other economic indicators are just as stark. The report found that:
Additionally, minorities in Multnomah County are 15% to 20% worse off in key indicators than minorities nationally, thus the report’s assessment that the county is a particularly “toxic” place to live for them.According to the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, more than one out of 20 people in the U.S. in 2008 were living in deep poverty, the share of Americans whose cash incomes fall below half of the poverty line. That’s about 17.1 million Americans, or 5.7% of the population.
The center states that racial and ethnic minorities, women, children, and families headed by single women are particularly vulnerable to poverty and deep poverty, and that blacks and Hispanics are more likely that whites to be poor.
This is economic inequality on a vast scale, and the consequences for everyone — not just those drowning at the bottom — are also vast. As the next six reports are released, I hope they galvanize the whole community to find solutions to the long entrenched and complex problem of poverty. Without economic justice, social justice doesn't stand a chance.
Robin Doussard is Editor of Oregon Business.
Real Time - Oregon Business
Tweets by @OregonBusiness
|Will Medford Ever Be Cool?|
|The Carbon Calculus|
|Raising the Stakes|
|Which Way to Chinatown?|
|The Human Factor|
|Commercial jet demand bolsters Boeing |
|Apple augments record quarter by shorting memory|
|Microsoft, Caterpillar woes lead Dow decrease|
|US consumer confidence continues to rise|
|Radical party's election win in Greece creates shockwaves|
|Flights canceled en masse as east coast preps for blizzard|
|West Coast port talks resume after rallies|
Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
hubbub health uses behavior change science to rethink wellness programs.
In Ashland, a public-private partnership results in online resources to help diversify the local economy.
How sports tourism is driving economic growth and making cities across Oregon a better place to live.
If you have given a former employee access to your company’s electronic information by virtue of assigning a desktop or laptop computer and you suspect he or she of having taken electronically stored data, there are several steps to follow to preserve electronic forensic evidence from spoliation.
The official launch will be Jan. 14.
In a switch on the traditional trade show, representatives from UO departments and local and state agencies will host tables to connect with businesses and vendors. The fourth Reverse Vendor Fair will take place Wednesday, Feb. 25, in Eugene.