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Black and white chart of national employment growth.
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Charts of the week: Women’s employment rates, optimism among poor Americans, and where the national economy is growing

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MORE WORKING WOMEN COULD CUT CHILD POVERTY RATES

In their research for the Center on Children and Families, Richard Reeves and Eleanor Krause expand upon three reasons to increase women’s employment rates: close skill gaps, boost growth, and cut poverty. According to the authors, increasing work rates among low-income households is one of the surest ways to cut poverty, and because children frequently live with women, boosting employment rates among women matters more than the employment rates of men from a child poverty perspective.

POOR BLACK AMERICANS ARE MORE OPTIMISTIC THAN THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS

Among poor individuals, black Americans are more likely to have higher levels of optimism and lower levels of stress than white Americans, according to Carol Graham, Leo Pasvolsky senior fellow at Brookings. In her recent article, originally published by the BBC, Graham wrote that, “the people who are most optimistic about their future are the most disadvantaged: poor black Americans.” The chart below illustrates optimism levels among poor individuals categorized by racial group and relative to white individuals on an 11-point scale.

Graham_BBC_OptimismChart

HALF OF AMERICA’S 2010-2016 EMPLOYMENT GROWTH TOOK PLACE IN JUST 20 METROPOLITAN AREAS

Over the course of the last year experts in the Metropolitan Policy Program have written at length about growing prosperity divides across the nation. In their research, Mark Muro and Jacob Whiton found that since 2010 metropolitan areas with a population of less than 250,000 residents have actually made a negative contribution to the nation’s economic growth while larger cities “powered by well-educated millennial workers and the agglomeration trends brought by digital technology” are accounting for more growth than before.

2018.01.23_Map1_Nat employment growth

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Chris McKenna

Communications Coordinator - Office of Communications

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