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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A new study shows a big racial gap still exists when it comes to unemployment in Western New York.
The Partnership for the Public Good released a report today about racial employment equality in the Buffalo Niagara.
In a statement by Sam Magavern, Executive Director for the Partnership for the Public Good said “For all of the progress that our nation and our community have made toward equality, we remain plagued by severe racial disparities in many aspects of life. Perhaps none is more troubling or more important than inequality in employment. Access to a good job is, for most people, the key to a good life. Something is sorely amiss when the black and Hispanic unemployment rates in Erie County are more than twice those of whites, and when people of color are earning just over 70 cents for every dollar earned by whites.
The region cannot succeed with such disparities, nor with the pockets of concentrated poverty that accompany them. Poverty and inequality drive down outcomes in health and education; they blight neighborhoods; and they impose large social and governmental costs. They are bad for business and hinder our chances for economic growth. PolicyLink has estimated that closing the racial income gap in Buffalo-Niagara would increase the region’s gross domestic product by 7% – over $3.5 billion per year.1
Racial inequality in employment has proved stubbornly persistent, but there is nothing inevitable or immutable about it. Cities, counties, economic development agencies, and states have many tools available – including targeted hire policies, voluntary employer initiatives, education and training programs, and wage and benefit laws – with the demonstrated ability to promote equal opportunity and ensure that all residents share in Buffalo-Niagara’s emerging renaissance.
Buffalo’s leaders have recognized the challenge. Mayor Byron Brown’s Opportunity Pledge has drawn support from hundreds of businesses and institutions, which have pledged, among other things, to “set collective goals to aggressively reduce poverty and
increase employment opportunities for all residents, thereby enhancing our City’s
productivity and prosperity.” The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has
convened a Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable to address racial disparities in
various sectors throughout the region. The coalition of labor, faith, and community
groups that commissioned this report, joined by many other voices, is calling for action.
Now is the perfect time to build on this momentum and make concrete progress toward
Region. Local community, religious and labor organizations asked the group to put it together.
The study shows the local unemployment rate among Caucasians is 6.4 percent. Among Hispanics the rate is 13.6 percent and in the African American Community it is 17.3 percent.
Organizers say this data is a good starting point for discussions about bridging the gap.
The groups are asking community members to read the full report and then come to a meeting with about how to bridge the gap.
The meeting will be held on March 18 at the Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 East Delavan Ave, from 9 a.m. till Noon.
The full report can be read at: PPG website www.ppgbuffalo.org.
Buffalo Employment and Training Center 77 Goodell St., Buffalo, NY 14203 716-856-5627 / 716-856-5670 Fax www.workforcebuffalo.org Orientation Times: Monday-Thursday, 10 am […]
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