Jan 10, 2022 - News

Mayor Johnson attempts to address Dallas' income racial disparities

Mayor Eric Johnson in front of flags

Mayor Eric Johnson is expected to announce the city's new Workforce Czar today. Photo: Tony Gutierrez/AP

Black and Hispanic workers in Dallas aren’t as educated as White workers and will be left behind if city leaders don’t offer more workforce development programs, according to a report commissioned by the mayor.

Why it matters: White residents in Dallas are more likely to have a college degree than Black and Hispanic residents, which exacerbates racial disparities in income.

  • One in four Black residents live in poverty, and one in five Hispanic residents live in poverty.

Driving the news: The mayor will name a “workforce czar” today to implement the recommendations in the report, which was released in November.

What they’re saying: The skills gaps between white and minority populations in Dallas “threaten to stunt the city’s growth and to leave behind parts of its population,” the report said.

By the numbers: In Dallas, 40% of jobs pay $32,000 or more, the report said.

  • White workers hold 54% of jobs that pay a “family-sustaining wage.”
  • Black workers hold 15% of those jobs.
  • Hispanic workers hold 16%.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Appoint a workforce liaison, either by hiring or appointing someone to oversee the workforce development effort.
  • Partner with other local government agencies, such as community colleges, to fund and offer training programs.
  • The mayor’s office should promote upskilling education programs.
  • Launch a website — the report calls it a “digital tool” — for job listings and training programs.

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