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LM Otero / AP

Black and Hispanic income has stayed comparatively low since the federal government began breaking out the figures by race five decades ago, per the U.S. Census, and a current reason is that the jobs they're in do not typically require high digital skills, says Amy Liu, a vice president at the Brookings Institution.

As of 2015, the most recent year for which figures are available, Hispanic Americans' median income was $45,148, and blacks earned $36,898. Whites were earning $62,950, and Asians $77,166. Per Census Bureau statistics on education, 23% of black Americans had college degrees in 2016, 16.4% of Hispanic Americans, and 37% of white Americans.

Why it matters: More and more U.S. jobs are going to require increasingly refined digital skills — already since the early 2000s, the proportion of jobs needing only minimal digital skills has dropped to 30% from more than half. That's probably going to put black and Hispanic Americans at a further disadvantage in the job market as time goes on.

How to deal with it: It's important to remember that "these market forces can result in inclusion rather than dislocation and inequality" if local governments and mayors step in and tailor workforce development programs to the needs of the people who are out-of-work in their cities, Liu says. For example...

  • If you're out of work in Boston, you're most likely to be less educated and of prime age, according to a Brookings study released in June, called "Meet the out-of-work," a snapshot into how work has changed since the early 2000s.
  • Boston's not alone — that's the most likely description of a jobless person in most of the 130 largest U.S. cities and counties (it's the same in Manhattan, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee just to name a few).

But the solutions that work for these cities might be less apt for the jobless in:

  • San Francisco, where they are most likely to be highly educated, engaged, and younger
  • or in Seattle, where they are probably educated, older, and with a high income.

Bottom line: The responsibility is with local officials to tailor get-back-to-work programs to local realities, and not national models.

Go deeper

24 mins ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The allegation by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," claimed he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious allegations he made on the CBS show.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

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