|| 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.
|The more they change, the more they stay the same|
|The 2014 List: The Top 33 Large Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The 2014 List: The Top 33 Small Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The future of money|
|Bitcoin creator revealed|
|Staples closing 225 stores|
|EU to offer aid package to Ukraine|
|Daily sugar intake 'should be halved'|
|White House reveals 2015 budget|
|RadioShack to close 1,100 stores|
|Bill Gates regains spot as world's richest person|
Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest means enjoying our wonderful surroundings, while remaining aware of the multiple types of natural disaster threats that we face: winter storms, windstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.“
Oregon State University's hospitality degree program invests in next-generation leaders.
Allowing individuals to access their own healthcare options has created more difficulty instead of making things easier. There are so many examples that illustrate why agents are more important than ever in helping businesses and individuals determine the healthcare coverage that best fits their need.
Capital Pacific Bank, a Portland-based community bank serving businesses, professionals and nonprofit organizations, today announced that it has earned recognition as a Certified B Corporation by B Lab, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a community of socially responsible businesses. The bank is one of six financial institutions across the country to achieve B Corp status.
On Thursday, April 3, from 8 a.m. to noon (registration begins at 7:30 a.m.), Lane Powell will team with Oregon Business magazine for a half-day seminar titled “Best Practices For Best Employers™: How to Become One of ‘Oregon’s Best Workplaces’ Starting Today!”
For the 5th year in a row, Oregon Business Magazine has recognized Barran Liebman as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in Oregon.