Demos report highlights how public sector jobs improve financial security for middle-class Massachusetts families

Release Date: 
November 20, 2018

MASSACHUSETTS – Public sector jobs are the best way to rebuild Massachusetts’ middle class, says a new report by Demos, a progressive policy and research think tank that fights for racial and economic equity.

The report, authored by Demos economist Algernon Austin, reveals that public sector jobs are more likely than private-sector jobs to be “good jobs” that can support a family and build long-term wealth. A good job is defined as one that includes access to health insurance and wages that can sustain a family.

The report compares the economic benefits of public-sector jobs in the state against private sector jobs and shows that public sector jobs help families in Massachusetts not only pay the bills every month, but also build wealth. Building wealth allows families to buy homes, start businesses, send their children to college and retire in dignity.

As gentrification is pushing many families and especially families of color out of communities, public-sector jobs provide the economic resources and security to allow families to stay in their communities.

The report’s main findings include:

  • Public sector employment increases the odds that white, Latino, Black and Asian-American people will have a good job. Black men and women have the biggest increase in good jobs.
  • White, Latino and Asian-American people working in public-sector are more likely to be homeowners than their same-race peers in the private sector. Black people working in public-sector jobs are as likely as Black people working in the private sector to be homeowners.
  • Men and women across all racial and ethnic groups who work in the public sector are more likely to live for 10 or more years in the same community, creating stability that helps reduce crime, builds neighborhood cohesion and increases civic participation.
  • The public sector is better than the private sector at decreasing economic and racial inequality and strengthening Massachusetts’ communities.

“We know that greedy CEOs are more concerning with lining their pockets and looking out for their shareholders rather than the men and women who work for them. By showing that public sector jobs stabilize the middle class, this report gives us the answers that will help Asian-American, white, Black and brown people provide for their families and thrive in the Bay State,” said Austin. “Elected officials need to create policies that develop new public sector jobs and preserve the ones that already exist.”

More information about this report and the data analysis used is available here.

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