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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:16pm
Fri Sep 23

Report: Income Inequality Is Worse For Black Workers Today Than In 1979

Racial wage gaps are wider today than in 1979 due largely to discrimination and growing income inequality, according to new research from the Economic Policy Institute.

The average wage gap between black and white workers was 18.1 percent in 1979, with the gap widening to 26.7 percent in 2015, the left-leaning think tank reports.

Rutgers University economist William M. Rodgers III co-authored the report with Valerie Wilson, director of EPI's Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy.

"We've found that racial wage gaps are growing primarily due to discrimination -- and other unmeasured and unobserved characteristics-- along with rising inequality in general," Rodgers said. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:40pm
Fri Aug 12

Report: LGBT Minorities Face 'Discriminatory Treatment, Abuse' In Criminal Justice System

The nation's "broken" criminal justice system is failing LGBT people of color, according to a recent report. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:32pm
Tue Apr 12

On Equal Pay Day, Dems Slam Republicans Over Federal Inaction On Paycheck Fairness

Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, marking how far into 2016 women must work in order to earn what men made in 2015.

Women today still earn just 79 cents on average for every dollar paid to men. For African-American women and Latinas, the wage gap widens to 60 cents and 55 cents, respectively, according to an analysis by the National Partnership for Women & Families.

Equal pay advocates say it's time to end the gender wage gap, which could be closed in part by passage of the long-proposed federal Paycheck Fairness Act. Under the bill, employees could share salary information between co-workers without retaliation, among other provisions.

Some Democrats are using Equal Pay Day to slam Congressional Republicans over their repeated efforts against the legislation. 

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) is among the Democratic cosponsors of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Duckworth, who is running for incumbent Mark Kirk's (R-IL) Senate seat, is seeking to draw a contrast with her opponent on equal pay issues.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:20pm
Mon Mar 28

Expanding Middle-Skilled Jobs For Women Could Help Close Gender Pay Gap

Expanding women's access to middle-skilled jobs in growing sectors like manufacturing and information technology (IT) could help narrow the gender pay gap and improve economic security for families.

That's the key takeaway from a new study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR).

Nationwide, female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men last year. The wage gap widens for middle-skilled workers in female-dominated jobs, who earn just 66 cents on the dollar paid to their counterparts in male-dominated occupations.

Women hold 55 percent of all middle-skilled jobs, i.e. those requiring a high school education but not a bachelor's degree, yet they account for only a third of workers in "good," middle-skilled occupations paying between $35,000 and $102,000 a year, IWPR found. On the flipside, women represent 86 percent of middle-skilled workers making less than $30,000 annually.

"Progress on closing the gender wage gap has slowed to a halt in the last decade," IWPR's Ariane Hegewisch, the study's lead author, said in a statement. "At the same time, employers are facing a shortage in workers who can fill these fast growing jobs in middle-skill sectors. Integrating these occupations is a win-win-win for women, employers and the economy as a whole."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:11pm
Wed Oct 21, 2015

Report: Women, Workers Of Color Face 'Occupational Segregation' In Restaurant Industry

Women and workers of color are disproportionately represented in lower-paid restaurant jobs, and they face the most barriers to obtaining "living wage" positions in the industry, according to a new report from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC).

The restaurant worker advocacy group's research sheds light on and calls for an end to "Jim-Crow-like segregation in the restaurant industry."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:03pm
Mon Oct 5, 2015

Report: Many U.S. States Fall Short On ID Card Access For Homeless LGBT Youth

U.S. states should improve access to identification cards for homeless youth, particularly those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), argues a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive national think tank.

Homeless youth, who are disproportionately LGBT, can face roadblocks to obtaining state-issued identification, which is necessary to access various programs and services, including those that could help them gain housing and employment, the report says.

CAP's research showed that many states fall short in terms of ID card accessibility for homeless youth.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:09pm
Tue Aug 25, 2015

What's The Status Of Women's Equality In Illinois?

Ahead of Women's Equality Day on Wednesday, a new study shows Illinois is the third most equal state for women. But don't get too cheery over the findings, independent experts say. 

WalletHub, the personal finance website, ranked all 50 U.S. states on gender equality in three areas: education, political empowerment and workplace environment. Illinois had the third best overall ranking, behind New York at No.2 and Hawaii at No. 1. Utah earned the worst ranking.

A leader with the Chicago-based advocacy group Women Employed was pleased to see Illinois come in third for women's equality. However, the ranking "doesn't mean things are primarily good for women in Illinois," stressed Women Employed's Associate Director Jenny Wittner.

"It just means that by certain measures (conditions are) better than other states," she said.

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