Sep 10, 2019

Majority of new hires are people of color for first time in history

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

People of color now comprise a majority of new hires for the first time in U.S. history, according to the Washington Post's analysis of Labor Department data dating back to 1970.

Why it matters: Minority hires overtook white hires last year, a sign of the shifting demographics of the country's workforce. It means that minority families, who on average earn less and are less wealthy than whites, are gaining more financial security.

By the numbers: Minorities in their prime working age (25 to 54) have gained at least 4.5 million new jobs since 2016, while the same can be said for only 700,000 white workers.

  • The milestone is the result of more baby boomers retiring and more minority women entering the workforce, per the Post.

Yes, but: It is unclear whether minority groups will hold on to these new jobs if job growth slows and the economy slides into a recession.

  • Marianne Wanamaker, an economist and former member of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, told the Post: "We’ve seen a lot of gains in employment among lower-income and lower-education groups. But it is precisely those groups that are vulnerable to layoffs if economic activity slows."

Go deeper: Black people are jumping back faster into the workforce

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Census data: Household income hasn't budged since 1999

New U.S. Census figures show gains in wages and declines in poverty for U.S. citizens, but some household income numbers sour the data.

By the numbers: Median income in 2018 was higher than every year since at $63,179, per the Census in a note accompanying the data's release. But the agency cautions recent estimates reflect changes implemented to the survey and analysts point out that household income hasn't moved much since 1999.

Go deeperArrowSep 11, 2019

Chart: African-Americans jumping back faster into the workforce

Note: Seasonally adjusted; Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics via Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Noa Yadidi/Axios

Jobless African-Americans are taking full-time work at a faster rate than unemployed whites, amid a more favorable economy for a population whose prospects have historically been dimmer than for other races.

Why it matters: A strong economy does not undo racism, and the same hurdles that make it difficult to find work have not disappeared. But a tighter labor market forces employers to look outside their usual pool of candidates to find workers.

Go deeperArrowSep 28, 2019

America's sweeping tide of diversity

Reproduced from a Brookings Institution map; Map: Axios Visuals

America is more racially diverse than at any point in history, and racial minorities are becoming more geographically dispersed than ever before.

Why it matters: Even before the 2020 census gets underway, recent population data makes it quite clear that rapidly expanding diversity will be the overarching theme of this century's demographic shift.

Go deeperArrowSep 11, 2019