In the News

Retail workers — sales clerks, cashiers and stock people — account for one in six jobs in the United States and a large share of the new positions created in the years since the recession. Many of the jobs are low-paying, making retail a major culprit in one of the most difficult challenges confronting the economy: stagnant wages.

The second largest source of jobs for black people in the country is also one of the worst industries to work in. Although big retailers tout their “entry level” positions as a path to the middle class, retail work is built on dead-end jobs that perpetuate racial inequality.

African-American and Latino retail industry employees earn lower wages than their white colleagues, according to a new study.

According to a new report, minorities who work in retail earn less and are less likely to be promoted than their white counterparts. The study, released yesterday by the NAACP and public-policy group Demos, found that retailers pay black and Latino full-time salespeople about 75 percent of what they pay white workers in the same positions.

In FY 2014, per-student state appropriations for higher education were 24 percent below the funding level in 1989. The result, also shown in the chart, is that net tuition revenue (the tuition received by public colleges and universities after grant aid is subtracted) has more than doubled during this period. Considering that three-quarters of all undergraduates are enrolled in public institutions, it’s not surprising that this increase in tuition prices has led to a large increase in student loan borrowing.
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The NAACP and Demos, a public policy organization, have partnered to produce a new paper, “The Retail Race Divide: How the Retail Industry is Perpetuating Racial Inequality in the 21st Century” that finds a disproportionate number of Black and Latino workers in the retail industry live below the poverty line.
“Like the overall retail workforce, the vast majority of Black retail workers are adults,” says the report in its Key Findi

The May jobs report from the Department of Labor is out, and while 280,000 jobs were added to the economy, 43% of all job gains were in the low wage sector. 

The overall unemployment rate is 5.5%, and the rate for African Americans and Latinos is still higher than the rate for whites, coming in at 10.2% and 6.7% respectively. The unemployment rate for whites is currently 4.7%. 

It's no secret the wealth gap between African American and White households is widening. However, the estimated median wealth between the two groups would jump a whopping 450 percent if African Americans owned homes at the same rates as Whites, according to a study released earlier this year by a New York City-based think tank.


Vermont will allow voters to cast ballots the same day they register to vote, effective January 2017. It used to be that voters would need to register close to a week before casting a ballot, but that’s changing.

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Republicans claim voter ID laws aren't racist, but numbers don't lie.

Sean McElwee, a researcher for progressive think tank Demos, compared measures of racist sentiments among white people in each of the 50 states (such as whether they believe blacks are trustworthy or intelligent) to dataon voting laws in each state, including when they were introduced and how strict they are.

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