New research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that African-American workers earn less than their white counterparts regardless of educational attainment. Progress Illinois looks at the report and gets reaction from the Chicago Urban League.
The Chicago Urban League released a 10-year blueprint Wednesday to undo structural racism in the city and create more equitable education, employment and economic development systems for African-American residents living in the most disadvantaged communities.
Chicago Urban League officials released the plan as the organization commemorates its 100th anniversary.
"Our vision is that by 2026, residents of every community area in Chicago will have access to the services and supports they need not just to succeed, but to really thrive as members of the greater Chicago community," said Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, vice president and executive director of the Chicago Urban League's Research and Policy Center.
"The league's 10-year plan is a focused effort that lays out our commitment to making racial equity a reality. When this happens, it sets the stage for a stronger African-American community and that, in turn, makes a stronger Chicago."
CEOs at America's largest firms received an average of $15.5 million in compensation last year, meaning they earned 276 times more than the typical worker in 2015, new research shows.
The $15.5 million in average CEO compensation was down about 5 percent from 2014, when the figure was $16.3 million, and up 46.5 percent since the economic recovery began in 2009, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
"Most (83 percent) of the decline in CEO pay from 2014 to 2015 can be explained by the drop in the value of realized stock options in that period," EPI's report reads. "Therefore the decline in compensation does not reflect any structural change in how CEO compensation is set or changes in corporate governance. CEO compensation will likely resume its upward trajectory when the stock market resumes upward movement."
Forbes 400 members, including just two African Americans and five Latinos, are wealthier than the entire bottom 61 percent of the U.S. population, representing 194 million people or 70 million households.
America's 20 wealthiest individuals alone (17 men and three women, all of whom are white) currently "own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households," according to the report.
The wealth divide is even more striking when compared along racial lines.
U.S. teens still face a pretty bleak employment landscape, but their job prospects are predicted to be a bit brighter this summer, according to a new study by the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University.
The study estimates that the nationwide 2015 summer employment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 will be 29.8 percent. That would represent the highest teen summer employment rate since 2008, when the figure was 32.4 percent.
The predicted 2015 teen employment rate of 29.8 percent is up from 27 percent in the summer of 2014 and 26.7 percent in 2013.
State and local economic development subsidies awarded to large corporations are exacerbating inequality in America, argues a recent report by Good Jobs First.
Such subsidies are intended to spur economic development and job creation. But, as the report points out, they tend to be given to low-wage employers as well as billionaire-owned "profitable, growing companies that do not need tax breaks to finance a project, meaning that the subsidies serve mainly to increase profits."
"Inequality has many causes, and now we can say development subsidies are among them," said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based subsidy watchdog group. "Subsidies are being awarded to large, profitable companies controlled by billionaires such as Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, while we have too many communities that really need the help."