In This Issue
Measuring America: How the U.S. Census Bureau Measures Poverty
Reentry and Barriers to Employment.
Even College Doesn't Bridge the Racial Income Gap...From: The New York Times
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Issue: #499

October 30, 2017  

The Census Information Center of Eastern Oklahoma, a program of the  provides access to data generated from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Measuring America: How the U.S. Census Bureau Measures Poverty

From: U.S. Census Bureau

The Census Bureau releases two reports every year that describe who is poor in the United States. The first report calculates the nation's official poverty measure based on cash resources. The second report focuses on the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) and takes into account cash resources and noncash benefits from government programs aimed at low-income families.

The United States has an official measure of poverty. The current official poverty measure was developed in the early 1960s when President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. This measure does not reflect the key government policies enacted since that time to help low-income individuals meet their needs.

Reentry and Barriers to Employment
From: The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Because people of color are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, they in particular struggle with securing employment upon their release from prison.

In the early 2000s, African Americans represented 46 percent of inmates in state and federal prison, and Latinos made up 16 percent, while both groups respectively accounted for less than 14 percent of the total U.S. population. By itself, this suggests reentry is a particularly urgent issue for communities of color. In addition, one study found that African-American men in New York City with prison records received fewer job offers for entry-level positions than white men with identical records. The study also estimated that racial disparities in incarceration have increased wage inequality between African Americans and their white counterparts by 10 percent.

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Even College Doesn't Bridge the Racial Income Gap
From: The New York Times

Education is supposed to be the nation's great socioeconomic leveler. That belief, however, is not borne out in the data. Pay gaps between white and black workers have grown since 1979, even after controlling for education, experience and location, according to research by the Economic Policy Institute. In fact, racial pay gaps have expanded the most for college graduates, which makes it seem clear that discrimination is a leading cause.

Last year, black college graduates earned about 21 percent less per hour on average than white college graduates; in 1979, the gap was 13 percent. The racial disparity in earnings is even greater for men: Last year, the average hourly earnings of black college-educated men were about 25 percent less than of white college-educated men. The gaps widen up the economic ladder. The top 5 percent of black male earners make about 47 percent less than the top-earning white men.
Until Next Week,

Melanie Poulter
Census Information Center of Eastern Oklahoma


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