Two Senators have introduced legislation to stop federal government subsidies from support sports arenas.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Two Senators have introduced legislation to stop federal government subsidies from support sports arenas.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
The University of Phoenix looks like a scam
We were recently reviewing entrepreneurship programs at colleges in the US. We came across a program at the University of Phoenix which grants a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in small business and entrepreneurship. The program costs almost $60,000 and has an 11% job placement rate.
Gainful employment statement.
The Gainful Employment Statement is the result rules created by the Obama administration in 2015 because of low performing for-profit schools.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
The value of LeBron to the city of Cleveland is making head line news. The owner of Quicken Arena in downtown Cleveland has asked for a $180 subsidy from the city and county to renovate the area. We want to look more closely at the economic impact Lebron and the Q Arena have on the city of Cleveland.
Cleveland.Com discusses the value of LeBron's return in 2015. The estimate was $500 million in the story. However, the article covers reason why that figure might not be reliable. Basically, very little new revenue is generated in northeast Ohio from outside the region, instead the money simply flows from other spending in the region like movies and restaurants. (Hey, I am going to skip Starbucks this week to see LeBron).
An older article from 2010 tracks the details of "How much is LeBron worth to northeast Ohio?" They breakdown LeBron value to the local businesses, City, Region and the Cavaliers.
The authors also call LeBron "priceless" in the story. The statement captures how difficult it is for a city to strike a fair deal with owners regarding arenas and superstars. There is always an implied threat they will move away. And you can't negotiate with a monopoly.
We do want to note: There is some value in bringing together a diverse set of fans including those from the suburbs to downtown Cleveland. Also, LeBron and the Cavaliers enhance the image of the city of Cleveland nationally and internationally.
A new paper from American Enterprise Institute economists attempts to quantify the effect.
The paper called "Taking My Talents to South Beach (and Back)" looks at the natural experiment of LeBron James leaving Cleveland in 2010, moving to Miami (winning two championships) and then returning to Cleveland in 2014.
The researchers found that LeBron James increased the number of restaurants and bars by about 13% and employment by 24% in the local area. The effect is most notable with in a one mile radius of the arena. There is was no effect past seven mile away
In related but separate news, one of the key papers in the sports subsidy field, "Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Subsidiesfor Sports Franchises, Stadiums, and Mega-Events?" by Dennis Coates and Brad R. Humphreys, summarizes the opinions of economists related to supports subsidies.
Here is another link.
A majority of economists surveyed at the American Economics Association convention find no benefit to sports subsidies. There is no market failure requiring a subsidies, instead the subsidies enrich monopoly owners. Basically subsidies are a waste of money and team owners are playing off cities against each other.
Here is a great quote from the paper...
"We have seen that economists in general, as represented by Whaples’s survey (2006), oppose sports subsidies. Economists reach the nearly unanimous conclusion that “tangible” economic benefits generated by professional sports facilities and franchises are very small; clearly far smaller than stadium advocates suggest and smaller than the size of the subsidies. The fact that sports subsidies continue to be granted, despite the overwhelming preponderance of evidence that no tangible economic benefits are generated by these heavily subsidized professional sports facilities, remains a puzzle."
Brookings Institute has the often quoted article from 1997, Sports, Jobs, & Taxes: Are New Stadiums Worth the Cost? by Noll and Zimbalist which discusses tactics cities can fight back against sports subsidies. Not a lot can be done but have active citizens and politicians can force monopoly sports owners to cut a better deal.
Some of our richest and most successful companies, effectively "steal" content from people and then charge for accessing that content. This hustle sends society the wrong message about how to be successful. People are no longer interested in putting in the hard work. Instead, they are looking for a "get-rich quick" scheme like Facebook where they can skim off a little from the top. That's the message these big companies are sending.
We seem to be rewarding the wrong people in this process. We have created a business culture where there is little long-term innovation, rather everyone is looking for a quick payday.
Friday, June 2, 2017
CityLab from the Atlantic Magazine discusses "The 100 year old penalty for being Black". The article looks at a paper describing "What would the US look like, if Black economic progress since 1880 occurred level as Whites." The paper also supports Black repartions in a wide set of areas.
Vox has a story of uninsured minorities being over charged at the hospital emergency room.
Emergency rooms over charge the poor.
Bloomberg has a great story on the US being unable to execute infrastructure projects. "The US has forgotten how to do Infrastructure," The story looks at over-priced infrastructure projects and how they undermine public support. It's all about productivity.
Japan housing construction workers are more productive than US workers: FT Alphaville. The blog says we don't need more workers just higher productivity.
A piece in VOX by Brian Resnick discusses research showing that people who are "science curious" are more willing to listen to opposing points of view.
Women are still lagging in pay for some STEM jobs according to Bloomberg
Quartz has a story about white collar unemployment. The trend may be due to corporations no longer providing employee training. The Quartz story on white collar unemployment is here.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Extra Curricular Activities by Income by Sarah Leonard
Every now and then we see a piece of interesting original research. A Ph.D. student at the University of New Hampshire looked at how kids spend their extracurricular time. She found that poor kids work at about half the rate of rich kids. And rich kids participate in all after school activities at a 50% higher rate. Poor kids are more likely to join sports teams while rich kids join clubs.
The study uses data from the 2012 National Survey of Children’s Health.
The research also found that the highest income group was twice as likely(33%) to work than the lowest income group(17%).
Other findings include: low-income youth spend more time using electronics and watching TV.
The Rich/Poor achievement gap has long troubled educational advocates. While lots of studies look at the teachers and courses, or parents and home background, extracurricular activities have not been as closely looked examined.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Urban League releases the state of Black America
The report contains comparison with Whites and Hispanics. The wealth gap is always shocking, but it just measure continued widespread discrimination in the housing market along with residential segregation.
One of our favorite editorials of all time. The Dalai Lama discusses the fear of being unneeded. This is the first time we are say must read.
Dalai Lama: The fear of being unneeded
Corporations pay 21.2% effective tax rate
The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy has a detailed report on the effective corporate tax rate being 21.2%
Highlights include GE, International Paper and PG&E paid NO taxes over the 8-year study period. And 25 of the most profitable companies used tax breaks of $277 Billion (about half of all corporate tax breaks).
By the way, we love ITEP. They are the number one resource in tax policy. If you know economic and follow politics then ITEP covers the place where the two meet: Tax Policy. For the past 40 years our tax policy has largely been shaped by corporations and their lobbyists. Now as the economy has cratered for the middle class; we are all asking why? ITEP has part of the answer: poor tax policy.
Apple has a new web site touting it's job creation in the US. Apparently in response to the Trump pressure.
Apple's PR job page is here.
Before Piketty, there was Tony Atkinson, who worked long and hard in inequality.
15 Proposals to Reduce Inequality
Unfortunately, most of the proposals require government action, which is better suited for Europe and the United States.
The Pew Research Trust article on the declining middle class. This is one of the seminal articles on the decline of the middle class in the US. The article is constantly referenced in economic ciricles
Pew Research Middle Class
The single best reference on immigration. We use the report all the time !!!
National Academies of Science -- Report on Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration
Rarely does one report settle an economic debate. This report does; and on controversial topic. The report is hefty at over 500 pages. It has tons of research and data. And the report passes the common sense test with flying colors.
Basically, the winners in the immigration process are immigrants themselves, corporations and people who employ immigrants. The losers are competitors of immigrants: non-recent immigrants, Blacks, Hispanics and poor people along with state and local government who provide benefits. Over the very long term immigration has a net positive benefit.
Companies have defunded their training programs leading to high unemployment among older workers.
You can read the story in Quartz: Secret surge of white collar unemployment
The US is notorious for lack of active labor market polices(ALMP). We are close to last among the OCED.
Another labor share of GDP is crap article. We do like Bloomberg.
Bloomberg falling labor share
Still reading Peter Temin's book on inequality. He, at least, bring race into the picture.
Apple Job Creation Website
Apple has a website that lists how many jobs it creates in each state in the US. It looks like a pretty clumsy response to President Trump. The site actually show how little, Apple and high tech companies, contribute to the labor and wage economy.
Apple is the worlds richest company that is not a bank. Apple has $256 Billion in Cash and marketable securities.
In it's October 2016 Annual Report(10-K), Apple claims to employ 116,000 full time equivalents. So is that a million people working 8 1/2 hours a week or 78,000 professionals working 60 hours a week? The point is, Apple is completely vague.
"As of September 24, 2011, the Company had approximately 60,400 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 2,900 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors."
"As of September 24, 2011, the Retail segment had approximately 36,000 full-time equivalent employees..."
As of September 29, 2012, the Company had approximately 72,800 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 3,300 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors. Approximately 42,400 of the total full-time equivalent employees worked in the Company’s Retail segment.
As of September 28, 2013, the Company had approximately 80,300 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 4,100 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors. Approximately 42,800 of the total full-time equivalent employees worked in the Company’s Retail segment.
As of September 27, 2014, the Company had approximately 92,600 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 4,400 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors. Approximately 46,200 of the total full-time equivalent employees worked in the Company’s Retail segment.
As of September 26, 2015, the Company had approximately 110,000 full-time equivalent employees.
Apple report 116,000. So job growth is slowing and the build out of retail is over.
So, in 2015, Apple, sensing it had an issue, changed how it reported it's employee headcount.
However, we can still make a pretty good guess of the number of retail and professional employee based on past reporting.
For 2011, we can compute by subtraction, there are 24,400 professionals and the ratio of retail to professional is 60% retail to 40% professional.
Apple's public relations job page claim two million direct and indirect jobs. But it uses very broad measure that includes anyone writing apps for Apple platform. May they should include only apps that made more than $10,000 dollars or worse apps that were profitable.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
The PBS Newshour has a good, clear story about how big US corporations are avoiding US taxes. Corporations have an estimated 2.6 Trillion dollars in overseas profits.
PBS Newshour reports on corporate tax scams.
Corporations are depriving the government of needed tax revenue for infrastructure, education, healthcare and public services(for example: roads, schools, hospitals and police). And when corporations pay less, we the people all pay more.
It is certainly not fair, but it is legal.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
The biggest story this week was Obama's $400,000 sellout to Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald and A&E Networks.
MSNBC has the basic story
So does NY Post which reported he got $400,000 from A&E networks.
The Atlantic has a story on the decline of Black Businesses.
But's really a story about market concentration and power squeezing out small businesses: Black, White and poor.
We have long supported limits on market power and concentration which would allow room for small businesses to flourish.
The National Urban League released it's State of Black America Report.
The NUL has created an equity index showing how far behind Blacks are as compared to Whites. This year they fully report on the Black/White and Hispanic/White differences.
Peter Temin from MIT has a new book on inequality and racism. It's called The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy.
He argues we have a dual economy but only the rich and powerful have the ability to make changes.
The introduction is all over the internet. Here.
The Atlantic has a write up.
If you are interested in inequality, check out almost anything by Tony Atkinson.
15 Proposals to reduce inequality
Crain's New York has a list of minority businesses. It has only 19 names. Jokes on us.
Crain's New York
Jobs are heading to Mexico again on Bloomberg.com
US companies are resuming their outsourcing and offshoring after a brief pause. Absent a real policy or regulation, labor intensive jobs will continue to move to Mexico, China and other low wage countries.
American Airlines decided give it's workers a pay raise. Wall Street smacked down the stock. Not much we can do but "whine" about shareholder value.
Here is the story by Matthew Yglesais in Vox
Here is Joe Nocera on Bloomberg View
The Evil Black Economist Blog believes you can never soften or beat Shareholder Value Principal. Instead we should give stakes in the company to Employees and other interest groups and reserve places on corporate boards for the same stakeholders.
Apple has $250 Billion in cash. Vox reports. $250 billion in cash is about 1/80th of the 18 Billion dollar US economy.
We also have a long piece on the Evil Black Economist called "Apple is an investment bank that makes iPhones"
Forbes also has a story on Apple and their PR effort around job creation.
Apple may be getting scared. It released a website announcing how many jobs it creates. Apple Job Creation.
Here is a key study constantly used in economic discussions. It is a great reference in an argument or when trying to prove a point.
Pew Reseach -- American Middle Class is losing ground
Andreas Ferrara believes world war 2 White causalities led to Black worker skill upgrades and improved income, integration and political participation.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
The original idea for this story comes from "Vox Apple has $250 billion in cash." (Hat tip)
$250 billion in cash is about 1/80th of the 18 Billion dollar US economy.
We have long believed that Americans over consume. Over consumption includes buying luxury items or super sizing your meal. It also includes buying products with features we like but may never use.
Another form of over consumption is buying products with status appeal such as foreign cars, soft leather goods(SLG) and handbags, or Apple iPhones. Thorstein Veblen first noticed that some goods are more valued because they have higher prices. He created the term "Conspicuous Consumption."
Based on the Apple 10-Q from April 2017, Apple has
Cash $15 Billion
Short Term Securities $52 Billion
Long Term Securities $190 Billion
Or about $255 billion in cash. Just cash, not assets, CASH!!!
They also have $84 Billion in debt at ridiculously low interest rates. Most of the bond rates are between 1.00% and 2.00% along with one special set of long term debt ($24 Billion) at 0.28%. Yes, that 28 basis points. Not only is Apple loaded with cash, they are using other peoples money to make even more money.
Apple looks like an investment bank that just happens to make iPhones.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The Evil Black Economist Blog is disappointed that Barak Obama will take $400,000 for making a speech to a Wall Street firm. We all feel hurt and betrayed. Obama, the first Black president, is a role model. He should have displayed stronger morals and principles. He should have more class.
In the past, Mr. Obama has given speeches during his campaign supporting progressive economic causes. He has spoken out again against income inequality, wall street greed, and money in politics. He liked to portray himself as a community organizer; a man of the people.
Now, he is trampling on his legacy. His presidential legacy. The move make him look like a money grubbing suck up. Valarie Jarret would have known better.
The Obama's did not need the money. He and Michelle just signed a $65 million dollar book deal. He has been hanging out on the private island of Billionaire Richard Branson. He has penty of offers to speak. But it's the speed and size of the sellout that has everyone worried.
He couldn't find a good charity or liberal group to talk to ? It had to be a Wall street firm ? It makes you wonder if his values and beliefs were an act. Does he really stand for anything ?
Lets hope he releases the text of the speech and donates the money.
Cantor Fitzgerald. Cantor is a wall street financial services firm that specializes in financial trading.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
7. Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax (which trump pays).
Currently, the tax plan would add $3 Trillion to $7 Trillion to the debt. It also assumes a growth rate of 3%. The US GDP growth rate is 0.7% in first quarter of 2017.
Monday, April 24, 2017
We checked in with Dr. Boyce Watkins here on your tube. Dr. Watkins gives a lot of informative talks on YouTube.
Boyce Watkins web page
Dr. Watkins mission is to spread financial literacy among Black people.
His Black Wealth Boot Camp has a full personal finance curriculum.
Demos.Org has a interesting story on the Black-White wealth gap. The look a some of the common proposals to close the wealth gap and explain why they won't work.
The asset value of Whiteness
Bloomberg has a piece on the large number of retail bankruptcies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 600,000 retail works have lost their jobs in the past year.
Retailers are going Bankrupt at a record pace.
The National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Broadcasters have put together a toolkit for "Reporting on Race"
Reporting on Race Toolkit
It is a little sad that in 2017 local news broadcasters have to be instructed on how to handle reporting stories when race is involved. You know there a problem when they break out the "Toolkit." Yikes!
National Association of Black Journalist Statement
Peter Temin from MIT has a new book out called "The Vanishing Middle Class" which also discusses race as well as economics.
Read the intro here.
Corporations used racism to destroy the middle class and turn us into a developing nation.
More charts on the vanishing middle class from Bill Moyers. You can always use one more chart.
Black businesses in Philadelphia have launched Buy Black Campaign and card.
The card is called iBuyBlack.
On Philly.com here.
The Congressional Black Caucus issued a report on things to improve in the US for Black Americans. The report is called "A lot to lose"
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Today we are reading the blistering critique of Donald Trumps presidency in the LA Times: The Problem with Trump.
While the pain of the LA times editorial board maybe real, the opinions have the feel of a publicity stunt.
Going to try something new today, what we are reading.
The New York Times has tough article on Uber using human psychology and behavioral economics to pressure drivers. Here.
The National Science Foundation publish statistics on science and engineering education and employment at the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
They also publish data on Women, Minorities and People with Disabilities in an annual report called Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering.
Neel Kashkari dissented against the recent Federal Reserve interest rate hike. Hear why at Bloomberg.com
Sunday, April 2, 2017
The Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago, a non-profit dedicated to improving the Chicago Metropolitan Area, and the Urban Institute released a report in March 2017, describing the "Cost of Segregation" in Chicagoland.
The summary news release is here.
Here are the links to the report and website.
Highlights from reducing segregation include...
- Black incomes would rise about $3000 dollars or $4.4 Billion. The GDP of the Chicago region would rise by $8.0 Billion.
- The homicide rate would drop by 30%.
- An additional 83,000 people would graduate college adding an additional $90 Billion in lifetime income.
Author Dr. Tressie McMillian Cottom has written a new book called Lower Ed which details some of the failures of the for-profit education industry. Ms. Cottom worked in the industry and now studies for-profit education at Virginia Common Wealth University.
For-profit colleges and universities are know for high costs, federal student loan and grant abuse and low graduation rates. Their marketing campaigns target Black, female and poor students through personal relationships and one-to-one marketing. Until they sign up. Then students are loaded down with debt and poor job prospects.
Dr. Cottom gave a detailed talk at the Economic Policy Institute that covers much of the content of her book.
Dr. Cottom was also featured on NPR.
And in The Atlantic, where her piece covers the conditions of economic inequality that led to the rise for-profit industry.
We have to acknowledge that for-profit schools are filling a gap in our education system and society. Stagnant wages are creating high demand for education just as most states cut back on education funding and private colleges and universities choose to serve the rich. The for-profit schools stepped into this space.
The real issue is that private and state universities have abandoned their role in providing opportunity to low-income students and intelligent students from bad schools. The for-profit industry is just filling a need.
The Obama administration was aware of these issues. It implemented the "Gainful Employment Rule" requiring reporting of student debt-to-income ratios. It is expected that the Trump administration will rescind the rules.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Broke is a quick hit piece about financial mistakes that professional athletes make when investing. Not very enlightening but kind of fun in a jealous, crabs-in-a-barrel kind of way. A little painful.
On You tube
Webpage from ESPN
Direct quote from the film web site...
According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 60 percent of former NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress.
Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical problems, and naturally prone to showing off, many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life.
Drawing surprisingly vulnerable confessions from retired stars like Keith McCants, Bernie Kosar and Andre Rison, as well as Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the MLB Players Association, this fascinating documentary digs into the psychology of men whose competitive nature can carry them to victory on the field and ruin off it."
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
One of the longest running battles in economics is whether raising the minimum wage destroys jobs.
In fact, we have an on-going argument with a good friend of this blog. The argument is over the effect of raising the minimum wage. We fully support the "fight for $15", "$10.10", $9.00 or any raise. While our friend is worried over the job loses when wages rise.
The minimum wage was last increased in July of 2009. It was increased from $5.15 in 2007 to $7.25 in 2009 under president George W. Bush. The raise was attached to small business tax cuts.
The minimum wage is also a good indicator of hard right turn congress has taken in the past 30 years. The minimum wage is now an ideological issue for conservatives. Raising the minimum wage is a non-starter in the current, conservative congress.
Most of the states with the Federal Minimum Wage or below(Georgia) are "Red" - Republican voting states.
There used to be a broad consensus for minimum wage hikes by both Democrats and Republicans with steady increases posted during the 70s, 80s, and 90s (except for Reagan). Back then there were many more White males earning minimum wage in a wide variety of jobs.
Now the image of a minimum wage worker is a surly, Black women asking: "If you want fries with that ?"
Fact: Most studies find no or very small job loss when the minimum wage is raised.
Fact: A majority of states(29) have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage.
The definitive study on the effect of raising the minimum wage was done by John Schmidt in 2013 for the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He look at a meta sample of all other minimum wage studies available. Basically, here took all the data points in 64 studies and then grouped them into one giant study (n=1,492).
The report also discusses the offsetting reason why job loses are small.
Finally there are some more recent reports on raising the minimum wage
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The UCLA labor center and the LA Black Worker Center released a new report detailing how Black workers are struggling in Los Angeles County. Overall Blacks have lost employment and population in Los Angeles. Many jobs Blacks held in manufacturing have moved overseas. In Construction, Blacks have largely been replaced by Latinos. The high unemployment and low incomes have long term sociological and health effects on Black people in Los Angeles.
Among the report highlights...
"Blacks with a high school education or less have double the rate of unemployment as Whites."
"1 in 10 Black workers with a higher degree are unemployed."
"Many Black workers in low-wage jobs earn less than White workers in similar postions." "Blacks earn on 75% of what Whites earn."
The report also highlight Blacks leaving Los Angeles for the Inland Empire. About 250,000 Blacks have moved to the Inland Empire.
The study proposes solutions such as creating high-paying, quality, accessible jobs. Expanding hiring benchmarks for under represented groups. And partnerships with institutions to implement targeted outreach, recruitment and retention programs.
The the UCLA labor center report is available here.
LA Times has a nice summary.
As a writer, I sometimes have a lot of time on my hands. To kill some of that time, I listen to Black Talk radio. There are some good stations out there but nothing like when I was growing up.
I grew up listening to Mary Mason in Philadelphia on WHAT 1340 AM, and Cathy Hughes on WOL 1450 AM when I lived in DC and Gary Byrd on WLIB 1190 AM during my time in New York City. That was good radio.
Here is a list of Black Talk Radio stations I check in on via the internet.
900 AM - WURD, Philadelphia
1690 AM - WVON, Chicago
1380 AM - WAOK, Atlanta (CBS)
1450 AM - WOL, Washington DC (Newsone)
1010 AM WOLB, Baltimore (Newsone)
1200 AM WCHB, Detroit (Newsone)
Sirius XM Urbanview (Pay wall)
You really have to hand it to Cathy Hughes, the found of Radio One. She purchased WOL in DC and continued to build an empire of Black radio stations. Her story is one of the most inspiring in the media business.
Radio Ones corporate site is here.
Radio One is one of the few Black managed publically traded companies.
PS. One of the stupidest moves I have ever made in my life was not listening to Cathy Hughes. When she was on the air in DC, she constantly invited members of the community to join the ownership of WOL. I chose not to participate in WOL for whatever lame excuse I had at the time. Boy was I stupid.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
US Lifting US is hosting a Black economic conference March 18th, 2017 in Atlanta Georgia. The theme of the conference is "Family Centered Economics."
Shrine of The Black Madonna
946 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30310
For more details visit the webpage at
Here is a video of the 2015 conference.
2015 Conference Video
Atlanta Black Star has a nice write-up of the conference.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The BLS released the first monthly employment situation report under President Donald Trump. The report was surprisingly good. The number of new jobs, Non Farm Payrolls, increased by 235,000 jobs which is well above the long-term averages. Unemployment rates across all major groups were flat or down. And there was a surprising bump (+58,000) in construction and manufacturing (+28,000) jobs. Healthcare and education added 62,000 spots. Retail Trade lost (-28,000) jobs ad information technology(no new jobs) was flat. Wages also increased by six cents which is also above average.
The February report showed a small decrease in the US unemployment rate to 4.7% while the Labor Force Participation rate remained flat at 63.0%. Average wages increased by 6 cents in February after a 5 cent increase in January. The number of unemployed stayed at about 7.5 million people.
Here is the chart of Non-farm Payrolls over time since the recession.
The national unemployment rate was 4.7%. After a steep decline during the recovery, the rate has flattened recently. The Labor Force Participation rate continues to increase.
President Trump has been given a gift of a strong economy with few short-term issues. The economy is performing well enough for the Federal Reserve Bank to raise interest rates. The employment report, along with the stock market, are the two main economic indicators the average person pays attention to in the news.
The President may want to look at some of the following long-term issues that affect his his supporters and all of us. He could tackle slow wage growth and the shift to a service economy from a manufacturing economy. requiring high levels of education in the job market
Present Trump has attacked the BLS in the past
President Trump is also noted for a having criticized the accuracy of the BLS unemployment reports. He used misleading definitions of unemployment during the presidential campaign. Trump will almost certainly try to make cuts at BLS, US Census and EEO offices as he continues to 'wage war on the facts."
The Black unemployment rate rose to 8.1%. The rate is volatile because of the small sample size and moves around a lot. But the overall trend has been decreasing. Black men older than 20 years have an unemployment rate of 7.85% while Black women have a rate of 7.12%.
White the Black Unemployment rate ticked up, the long term trend in participation look good since the end of 2013. Black people are finally getting jobs as White leave the job market. It looks like more Blacks are returning to the job market so the unemployment rate is fixed while the participation rate increases.
The "Real" Black unemployment rate stayed at a relative high at 12.6% showing continued slack in the Black labor market.
The national U-6 rate show continued improvement dropping to 9.2%. U-6 includes all unemployed, people working part time who want full time work, and marginally attached workers (basically everyone who is available to work and wants to work)
The Business Survey showed strong employment growth especially in private goods producing sectors.
Again, strong job growth was across many industries. The suprise category was consturction(+58K which may have been helped by warm weather in January and February.
ADP reported 298,000 new jobs were created in February 2017. The jobs were split among small businesses (+104,000), medium sized businesses (+122,000) and large businesses (+72,000). ADP report a big jump in good producing jobs which increased by 106,000 including 66,000 in construction. Service business hired 193,000 people. including 66,000 in business services and 40,000 each in Ed/Health and Leisure/Hospitality, respectively. .
Paychex small business jobs index was up slightly (0.03%) to 100.78 in February for straight month of increases.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Overall, Black Americans, like many in the US, are not doing well. The 2007 recession and financial crisis led to a huge number of foreclosures wiping out a huge amount of Black wealth. Jobs remain scarce. As of 2016 has Black unemployment has recovered to 2007 levels.. The Black unemployment rate of 7.8% is the same or below the 2007 rate. Black people have lost 10 years of income and wealth.
There is some good news. Incomes are slowly rising. More Blacks are participating in the labor force while White Men drop out. Blacks tend to work in Service and Transportation jobs. Black business ownership was flat in the latest survey.
Living in Poverty was report by 26% of Blacks. One in five (21.5%) Black households worries about food and 26% collect food stamps.
Educationally, we graduate high school at almost the same rate as Whites but attend college at a lower rate (10% difference). We graduate from college at an even lower rate(20% difference) as compared to Whites. Black student debt is estimated at twice that of Whites.
White economic indicators are trending flat or down, social and health indicators are moving in the right direction. Life expectancy has increased while infant mortality has decreased. Health insurance coverage is up and crime has dropped.
Finally, the measures of economic opportunity do not look good. By one estimate, a Black poor child has only a 4% chance of being a rich adult and a 50% chance of remaining a poor adult.
Finally, if you have a Black statistic you would like added to the report, please send and e-mail to:
Net worth is the most basic measure of wealth. It is the value of assets a household controls. Middle class people in the US usually have one large asset: their home. The rich have multiple real estate properties and investment assets. The poor have no assets at all.
The ratio of Black wealth to White wealth was 12/100 meaning Blacks has just 12% of the assets of Whites and Whites were 8 times richer than Blacks.
|2013 Median||2013 Mean||Median Ratio to White|
Here is the trend over the past 12 years. Black home ownership took a huge hit during the last recession.
Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finance, 2013
Total Stock Levels (in Thousands)
Home Ownership Rate
The Black home ownership rate has recovered since the 2007 recession but still trails the White rate by more than 30%. Home Ownership Rate is the number of household
|4Q 2016 Rate|
The majority of Black mortgages are non-conventional mortgages.
Black 2013 Mortgage Loan Applications 186,074/ Originated 113,723
We continue to see lower rates of loans made to Black applicants. Also, a higher percentage of the loan are non-conventional loans when compared to Whites.
Black / White 2016 Ratio 80%
Here is a chart of median weekly earnings for the period 2000-2016.
Black households have a median (half above and half below) income of about earn about $37,000 dollars.
Below is a graph of the trend since 1972.
One common question is: "How much money do Black people in the US earn collectively?" Well, there are two different measures: one is income and the other is called "Total Money Income (TMI)" which includes transfer payments. In 2015, we earned $610 Billion in income and had a TMI of $898 billion.
The figure for Black Alone or in Combination is even larger at $949 Billion. Black AOIC includes Black people and mixed race and Hispanic people who identify as Black.
|Pop. Change||Real Income Change|
Where do Black people work ?
Blacks are underrepresented in Management, Business, Science and the Arts(MBSA) and in Natural Resources and Farming, Construction and Maintenance(NRCM). They are over represented in Services and Transportation.
PTMM - Production, Transportation and Material Management
|Sales & Office||---||23.6%||---||17.1%||---||30.8%|
|Sales & Office||---||23.8%||---||17.1%||---||31.3%|
|Sales & Office||---||25.2%||---||18.7%||---||30.8%|
|Hispanic / Latino||Total||24,845,756||100%||14,055,426||100%||10,790,330||100%|
|Sales & Office||---||21.9%||---||14.7%||---||31.3%|
|Sales & Office||---||19.8%||---||16.7%||---||23.2%|
Total Employment Levels
Black employment continues to grow while White employment is decreasing.
Key Black Unemployment Rates at the end of 2016
Table Black Unemployment 7.8%
|2014||% of Total
|2015||% of Total
Child Poverty (18 and Under)
|2014||% of Total
|2015||% of Total
Food Security by Household 2015
Food security is defined at three levels: 1) food secure, 2) low food security and 3) very low food security. Food secure is defined as "access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy
life for all household members." People who are food insecure do not meet condition one. They have either low food or very low food security. Very low food security is defined as "one or more household members had reduced eating patterns and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food."
|Low||Low %||Very Low||Very Low %|
Source: Household Food Security in the United States 2015, www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/err215/err-215.pdf
Individual Food Stamps Participants
Eleven million Black people participate in the food stamp program.
Children Raised by Single Parents (in 000)
|Total Pop. 18 and older||High School or Higher||% of Pop.||Bachelors or Higher||% of Pop.|
Source: 2015 American Community Survey
Black 6 year or less college graduation rate (2008-2014) 40.9%
Source DOE: National Center for Educational Statistics, Postsecondary Graduation Rate, 2014, Table 326.10
Note: Cohorts are from 1996 to 2007.
Note: We used "Persons 25-29 educational attainment high school or greater" as an indicator of having completed high school or the equivalent.
Source Department of Education: National Center for Educational Statistics, Postsecondary Graduation Rate, 2014, Table 104.20
Black college students have about $7,300 dollars in extra debt compared to White college students and $24,000 more 4 years later.
4 years Later
Note: The US Department of Education does not collect statistics on total debt by race. Brookings has estimated the amounts.
Source: https://www.brookings.edu/research/black-white-disparity-in-student-loan-debt-more-than-triples-after-graduation/, Oct, 2016 Report(2012 Data)
|Per 1000 Live Births||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013|
Source: National Vital Statistics Report
Source: CDC National Vital Statistics Reports https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_08.pdf
|Per 1000 Live Births||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015|
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS Data Brief No. 264, November 2016 and https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db259.pdf
Seventy-One(71) percent of all Black children are born to unmarried women.
Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women
|Percent of Live Births||2015|
Birth Rates for Unmarried Women
|Per 1000 Live Births||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014|
Source: National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 64, No. 12, December 23, 2015
Close to 90% of all people have health insurance including 88% of Black people. Health insurance is either private or government funded.
Source: US Census, Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2015
|Violent Crime Total||386,467||232,180||60.1%||140,543||36.4%||77,557||23.9%||5,696||1.5%|
|Property Crime Total||1,125,950||779,529||69.2%||312,647||27.8%||146,980||16.4%||13,892||1.2%|
RBLT is Robbery, Burglary, Larceny, Theft and Motor Vehicle Theft. Drug related is the same as Drug Abuse Violations. DUI plus Alcohol is Driving while under the influence, Liquor Laws and Drunkenness.
Source: FBI Uniform Crime Report, 2015, Arrest by Race and Ethnicity
|Year||Total||Total Male||White||Black||Hispanic||Other||Total Female||White||Black||Hispanic||Other|
|Male per 100,000||Female per 100,000|
|Year||Total||Total Male||White||Black||Hispanic||Other||Total Female||White||Black||Hispanic||Other|
Source Bureau of Justice Statistics
Harris Poll Happiness Index by Race
Source: Harris Poll Happiness Index, June 2013
He found that White men in the lowest one-fifth (quintile) of income had a 26% change of remaining in the lowest fifth and a 10% chance of moving to the highest fifth(top quintile). Black men from the lowest fifth of income and a 50% chance of remaining in the lowest group and only a 4% chance of making it to the top fifth.
Note: Data is from 1978-86 for parents and 2003-2007 for children. Data analysis was published in 2014.
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