Category Archives: Income Inequality/Gap

Out of Work, Taking on Care: Young Women Face Mounting Challenges in the “She-Cession”

Source: Shengwei Sun, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, IWPR #C498, Briefing Paper, April 2021

From the abstract:
Longstanding inequities in access to quality jobs and affordable care, along with uneven caregiving responsibilities, create unique challenges for young women of color during this prolonged pandemic recession. Young women (aged 16 to 24) were more likely to lose their job than young men and workers of other age groups in the initial months of the pandemic recession, largely due to their concentration in industries and occupations that have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn.

Mobility, Inequality, and Beliefs About Distribution and Redistribution

Source: George Wilson, Vincent Roscigno, Carsten Sauer, Nick Petersen, Social Forces, Advance Access, May 10, 2021
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Classic theory has long been interested in mobility, but with limited attention to the implications of intergenerational movement for inequality-specific beliefs. In this article, we introduce a dynamic conception and modeling of the impact of intergenerational occupational mobility on inequality orientations generally and distributive and redistributive beliefs in particular. The diagonal models we employ using 2008–2010 General Social Survey samples—modeling that considers intergenerational occupational origin and destination, and that is replicated on a larger sample across three waves of the GSS—reveal strong conservatizing effects of mobility overall. Those who occupationally fall relative to their parents, although somewhat more progressive by virtue of the downward mobility experience, tend to cling more so to the conservative beliefs characteristic of their higher status origins. Those experiencing mobility gains, in contrast, usually adopt the more conservative orientations of those who they are now surrounded by and in ways that legitimize individual efforts. These patterns are notably pronounced compared to other aspects of one’s job, political affiliation, and status-related attributes; are somewhat stronger among men than women; and differ significantly for Blacks. We elaborate and conclude by highlighting the need for a mobility-centered corrective to sociological understandings of inequality beliefs and how workplace-related experiences in particular shape ideological leanings.

How to Ensure Pay Equity for People of Color

Source: Michael A. Tucker, HR Magazine, Spring 2021

Employers are scrutinizing their pay policies to eliminate racial disparities.

….That slow progress and the United States’ bloody legacies prompt a fundamental question when the issue of pay equity and race is broached: How can the U.S. value the work of people of color if it doesn’t value people of color?…

Impact of Compensation on Inclusive Organizations

Source: Muhammad Irfan, Omar K. Bhatti, Rashida K. Malik, Compensation & Benefits Review, Vol 53, Issue 3, 2021
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Discrimination in compensation for minority groups and individuals with regard to gender, physical disability, religion, and culture affects inclusion in an organization. This study is a combination of two studies and endeavors to verify our initial inference that compensation gaps are significantly related to inclusion. A mixed method approach has been adopted; in first part of the study, compensation data obtained from 32 organizations (608 observations) have been analyzed quantitatively. The study finds significant correlation between components of compensation gaps and inclusion. Gender as basis of discrimination was found insignificantly correlated to compensation, while pay for performance was found negatively related to inclusion. We have proposed a model to predict feeling of inclusion if components of compensation and discriminatory factors are known. In second part of the study, based on 25 in-depth interviews, cognitive basis of compensation gaps has been divulged, and we conclude that implementation of compensation equity and removal of cognitive bases of discrimination seem mandatory actions for inclusion.

Beyond Wages: Effects of the Latina Wage Gap

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families, Fact Sheet, March 2021

…Even as Latinas have entered the workforce in record numbers – now with more than 12 million workers – they continue to face the largest wage gap among women. Latinas in the United States are typically paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to White, nonHispanic men. Overall, all women employed full time, year-round are typically paid 82 cents compared to every dollar paid to the general population, both men and women, employed full time, year-round.

Black Women and the Wage Gap

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families, Fact Sheet, March 2021

…Today this means that Black women in the United States who work full time, year-round are typically paid just 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The wages of Black women are driven down by a number of current factors including gender and racial discrimination, workplace harassment, job segregation and a lack of workplace policies that support family caregiving, which is still most often performed by women. Overall, women employed full time, year-round are typically paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Women and the Wage Gap

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families, Fact Sheet, March 2021

…Today this means that Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women who work full time, year-round are paid as little as 52 cents for every dollar paid to white, nonHispanic men, as Burmese women are. Asian American women overall are paid just 87 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The wages of AAPI women are driven down by a number of current factors including gender and racial discrimination, workplace harassment, job segregation and the devaluing of jobs dominated by women, and the lack of support for family caregiving, which is still most often performed by women.

Public Sector Unions Mean Middle-Class Jobs for Black Workers

Source: Hayley Brown, Dean Baker, CEPR, February 25, 2021

Government jobs have been an important source of economic mobility for Black workers and their families for many years. The federal government was an early adopter of anti-discrimination provisions, and today about a fifth of federal workers are Black. This includes those employed by the United States Postal Service, which provided well-paying jobs and career pathways to formerly enslaved people well before the rest of government, and in 2020 employed just under a fifth of Black federal workers. State and local governments have similarly emerged as wellsprings of relatively stable and well-paying employment for Black workers and pensions for Black retirees. The public sector’s legacy as a path to the middle class for the Black community persists today; government workers are disproportionately Black, and the pay gap between Black workers and white workers is smaller in the public sector than in the private sector.

The public sector is also an important source of union jobs for Black workers. Our analysis of 2020 data from the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group indicates that the unionization rate for Black workers in the public sector is quadruple the unionization rate for Black workers in the private sector, and unionized public sector workers account for a larger share of the Black workforce than they do of the white workforce. This matters because research has shown that Black workers who are members of a union or covered by a union contract enjoy considerable earnings and benefit advantages compared to their nonunion counterparts.

Public Work Provides Economic Security for Black Families and Communities

Source: Michael Madowitz, Anne Price, and Christian E. Weller, Center for American Progress, October 23, 2020

….
Public sector jobs provide economic security for Black households

Public jobs provide good wages, better benefits, and greater job security, all of which are critical components of economic security and help families build wealth. Moreover, the wealth gap in the public sector is much smaller. For example, in the private sector, white households have as much as $10 of wealth for each $1 Black households hold; in the public sector white households hold closer to $2 for every $1 of wealth for Black families.

Public employment can provide greater economic security for Black workers for several reasons:

  • Public sector hiring is more accountable to citizen influence than private sector hiring, providing stronger checks on employment discrimination.
  • Public sector jobs are more likely to provide a defined benefit pension, which guarantees lifetime benefits upon retirement.
  • Public sector jobs offer more stable employment, providing economic security otherwise available only to households with wealth.
  • Public sector jobs are more likely to be unionized. Unionized jobs are highly beneficial to workers, and Black workers in particular.