March 27, 2024 / Equity, Workforce

Is Metro Atlanta bridging the gender pay gap?Image

This month, the Research and Analytics Division of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) published an analysis of the gender pay gap in Metro Atlanta using 1-year estimates from the American Community Survey, which the Census Bureau has produced for 2005 to 2022.

Here are some of the findings:

  1. Women in metro Atlanta earn about 82 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.
  2. Metro Atlanta has the 7th largest gender pay gap among the twenty largest metros in the United States.
  3. The gender gap has reduced by three cents from 21.2 cents in 2005 to 18 cents in 2022. Thus, while the gap has narrowed slightly over the last decade and a half, it remains quite wide.
  4. Disparities are lowest among protective service occupations (where women earn 93.3 cents on the dollar) and highest among health practitioners (where women earn only 65.6 cents on the dollar)—the wage gap is nearly 28 cents higher in those health occupations.

Read the full analysis in the 33°n blog post here.

March 22, 2024 / Equity, Workforce

Black women are crowded out of higher paying rolesImage

A new report by the Urban Institute explores how Black women are represented in vulnerable work. This includes work with less pay, benefits, and hours and alternative work arrangements like independent contracting, contract work, temp agency work, and on-call/day work.

Some key findings are: 

  • Black women are crowded out of higher-paying roles in comparison to white men, white women, and Black men.
  • Black women are underrepresented in occupations with higher rates of employer-sponsored health insurance as compared with white men but overrepresented in occupations with higher retirement coverage rates in comparison with white women.
  • Black women are also crowded into occupations that have fewer hours compared with Black men and white men.
  • When the share of temp agency workers in occupations—an arrangement with the lowest benefit rates and pay—increases, the representation of Black women increases, compared to white men.

This report is part of Urban’s Financial Well-Being Data Hub, which seeks to inform solutions to advance equity and improve households’ financial security.

Read the full report here.

There are 79 neighborhoods throughout Greater Atlanta with low and declining child well-beingImage

A few months ago, United Way of Greater Atlanta published the 2023 update of their Child Well-being Index. This data serves as a diagnostic tool to tell where each neighborhood is progressing toward saying that “all the children are well” and to guide how United Way directs its resources to most effectively improve child well-being and transform lives for the better.

Here are some key insights from this year’s update:

  • There are 79 neighborhoods throughout Greater Atlanta with low and declining child well-being.
  • Nearly 500,000 of Greater Atlanta’s 1.2 million children and youth live in high-need areas.
  • Data also shows that low child well-being scores disproportionately impact BIPOC populations.
  • Nearly 14,000 youth are not connected to school or work.
  • The overall regional score remained stable compared to 2018 – largely due to public and private funding and resources to offset damage from the pandemic. However, it is important to mention that since the data for the 2023 index scores was collected, these programs have largely ended.

Read the full report here.

November 28, 2023 / Commuting, Equity

Propel ATL’s ’38 Reasons Why’ report on 2022 pedestrian deaths within the city limitsImage

The new report, “38 Reasons Why,” published by Propel ATL, analyzes the 38 pedestrian deaths reported within city limits in 2022, the last year for which complete data is available.

Key takeaways:

  • The 38 pedestrian deaths in 2022 represent an increase of 23% over 2021 and 52% over 2020.
  • Over two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities occurred in majority-Black neighborhoods (25 out of 38 fatalities).
  • 63% of pedestrian fatalities occurred on roadways that didn’t have sidewalks, and 38% of bicycle and pedestrian crashes occurred on state routes that tend to lack sidewalks and bike lanes.
  • 29% of bicycle and pedestrian crashes were hit-and-runs.

“These trends highlight a glaring disparity in Atlanta’s pedestrian safety: People walking in Black neighborhoods or in low-income communities are more likely to lose their lives to traffic violence. These same neighborhoods also tend to have fewer roadway features like sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes that keep people safe when traveling outside of cars”, the report says.

See the full Story Map here.

September 24, 2023 / Basic Needs, Economics, Equity, Inflation

U.S. Poverty Increased as pandemic-era programs endedImage

You may have noticed a drastic decrease in child poverty over the last couple of years. Now, you’ll see a dramatic increase as pandemic-era social safety net programs ended.

Based on the latest report on U.S. poverty by the census, the supplemental child poverty rate more than doubled, from 5.2 percent in 2021 to 12.4 percent in 2022.

The U.S. Census Bureau measures poverty in two ways every year. The first, called the official poverty measure, is based on cash resources. The second measure, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), includes both cash and noncash benefits and subtracts necessary expenses (such as taxes and medical expenses).

The report explains, “Social Security continued to be the most important antipoverty program in 2022, moving 28.9 million people out of SPM poverty. Meanwhile, refundable tax credits moved 6.4 million people out of SPM poverty, down from 9.6 million people in 2021”.

Charts are from The New York Times.

June 26, 2023 / Equity

Some 17% of adult Americans younger than 30 identify as lesbian, gay or bisexualImage

As the United States LGBTQ+ Pride month comes to an end, the Pew Research Center shared five key findings about LGBTQ+ Americans from some of their recent surveys tracking LGBTQ+ topics such as gender identity, attitudes toward same-sex marriage, and experiences of LGBTQ+ Americans:

  1. Some 7% of Americans are lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  2. More Americans identify as bisexual than as gay or lesbian.
  3. Bisexual adults are far less likely than gay or lesbian adults to be “out” to the important people in their life.
  4. Some 1.6% of U.S. adults are transgender or nonbinary – that is, their gender differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
  5. While a relatively small share of U.S. adults are transgender or nonbinary, many Americans say they know someone who is.
May 9, 2023 / Equity, Immigration, Policy

The 2020 census may have missed a large share of noncitizensInsight

A recent US Census Bureau study of government administrative data “designed to improve coverage of historically undercounted population groups” found the potential for a significant undercount of noncitizens in the 2020 Census.

NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang explains:

That gap, researchers found, was likely driven by noncitizen residents who are missing from the agency’s count, especially those with “unknown legal status.” About 19.7% of noncitizens tallied in the simulation using administrative records had addresses that could not be matched with those counted in the 2020 census.

That raises ‘the possibility that the 2020 Census did not succeed in collecting data for a significant fraction of noncitizens residing in the United States,’ the bureau’s report says.”

Undercounts lead to underrepresentation and subsequently misrepresentation in standard population data. If you work with “hard to count” populations—children under five, noncitizens, people of color, rural residents—it is imperative you go beyond population data when designing programs, policies, and funding strategies.

The State of Black GeorgiaImage

The State of Black Georgia is an educational tool and call to action for Black Georgians, public and private sector stakeholders and the general public that can inform civic engagement, non-profit organizations, elected officials, businesses, policy makers, grass roots organizations, philanthropists, faith-based organizations, researchers, advocates, and other key stakeholders. Together, we can promote inclusive economic development, influential partnerships, and implementation of best practice models that foster overall improvement in conditions for Georgia’s Black residents and the state as a whole.”

From the report:

  • The median wealth of Blacks will fall to zero by 2053 if no action is taken.
  • The percentage of Georgia Black students failing to read at third-grade level was 36%, a 25%
  • increase over the pandemic.
  • Approximately 50% of the inmates admitted in the Georgia Department of Corrections in 2021
  • were Black, yet Black Georgians make up 32% of the State’s population.
  • Fifty-four percent of infant deaths were Black children.
January 25, 2023 / Economics, Equity, Health

Economic inequality is a life or death issueImage

Looking at the factors that contribute to (and/or result from) Atlanta’s ranking as #1 in economic inequality, a clear pattern emerges. The experiences and outcomes of Atlanta neighborhoods are divided along northeast and southwest lines in nearly every way.

When the highest income neighborhoods are living one and a half times longer than those with the lowest income, these inequities are a matter of life or death.

November 29, 2022 / Economics, Equity

Atlanta has the highest income inequality in the nationImage

In not-new-news, AJC’s analysis of Census data shows Atlanta has the highest income inequality among major US metros.

“[M]any Black residents are not seeing the benefits of [strong economic growth], said Janelle Williams, co-founder of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative. The median household income for a Black family in Atlanta is $28,000, while the median income for white families is roughly $84,000. Overall, Black residents account for half of the city’s population.”

This analysis uses the Gini coefficient based on the US Census Bureau’s 2016-2020 American Community Survey data. “The Gini coefficient measures how equally income is distributed among a population and is expressed in a decimal format ranging from zero to one.”

While the City of Atlanta is No. 1 among cities, “the Atlanta metro area ranks as No. 227 for income inequality, with a Gini co-efficient of 0.4708, significantly better than the New York metro area (No. 39) and the Houston metro (No. 117).”

November 29, 2022 / Education, Equity

Combining program and community data reveal insights into barriers to educationImage

The recently launched map of Georgia’s government-funded out-of-school programs highlights some communities with limited access to these learning opportunities. Out-of-school education programs are essential because consistent participation in these activities has been shown to improve academic outcomes, help to close the achievement gap, reduce school absences, and improve social-emotional outcomes. Some of GSAN’s highlights from the interactive map are:

  • 45 counties do not have government-funded programs.
  • Over half of these counties have high concentrations of children living in poverty, low educational attainment rates, low 3rd-grade literacy rates, and limited access to broadband internet and vehicles.
  • A major portion of these counties also fall under Georgia’s Black Belt – a historically underserved region of the state.
Atlanta Public Schools graduation rate by race and ethnicity
October 12, 2022 / Education, Equity

APS graduation rate reaches all-time highImage

Atlanta Public Schools reached an all-time high graduation rate in 2022 of 84.0%.

From the press release:

  • Graduation rates for Black students (82.2%) reached an all-time high with the 2022 cohort, while the rate for Hispanic students (80.0%) and White students (95.4%) was slightly lower than the cohort 2021 rates but higher than the pre-pandemic 2019 rates of 75.5% for Hispanic students and 93.4% for White students.
  • Nearly 13 percentage points separated the graduation rates of Black students and White students. This is 4 percentage points lower than cohort 2021 difference.
  • Graduation rates for students with disabilities was 72.2%, a decrease by 1.6 percentage points over 2021, but the highest number of students with disabilities to ever graduate in one cohort – 309 students.
  • The 2022 graduation rate of 76.1% for English learners was slightly lower than the 2021 graduation rate of 76.8%.
August 7, 2022 / Early Childhood, Economics, Equity

Childhood friendships across economic classes key to upward mobilityImage

In new research from Raj Chetty’s team at Opportunity Insights (published in two parts in Nature and summarized in NYT), a massive analysis of economic and social networks found that exposure to and friendships among people of different social classes is one of the strongest predictors of upward mobility.

The study found that lower socio-economic groups make connections in their home neighborhood and at religious institutions, while higher SES groups tend to make their bridging connections in college. This research builds on their prior economic mobility analysis and development of the Opportunity Atlas.

So what do we do with this information?

Programs, services, policies, and investments that facilitate interactions across diverse economic groups will likely have lasting impacts. Policy level solutions might include inclusive housing and planning decisions. At a more local level, effort might be made to reduce in-school student segregation. Programmatically, even experiential programs outside of participants’ own neighborhood may have an impact.

January 28, 2022 / Basic Needs, Equity, Housing

Preliminary findings from Atlanta’s recent homeless count indicate the pandemic likely exacerbated homelessness in the city.Insight

Atlanta recently conducted its annual “Point in Time” count to evaluate the number of homeless individuals in the city. The count was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic, but 3,240 people were counted in the city of Atlanta in 2020. The official numbers for the 2022 count will not be released until later in the year, but recent trends have shown that the pandemic may have worsened homelessness. Recently, more people have been sleeping outdoors rather than in shelters. In Atlanta, there are 2,800 beds available in shelters, but many individuals have turned down a bed due to COVID-19 concerns. Another new trend has emerged: there are more individuals that are newly homeless than ever before. There is some good news, though. As many as 700 previously homeless individuals were able to secure stable housing with pandemic-relief funding.

Takeaway: Reducing homelessness in the wake of the pandemic will rely on improved housing aid and policy as well as creative sheltering options to safely house individuals.

January 10, 2022 / Aging, Education, Equity

GPEE recently released their list of ten issues to watch in 2022 with the goal of ensuring 65% of GA’s residents aged 25-64 will hold a postsecondary credential by 2032.Insight

Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) recently released their report listing the top ten issues to watch in 2022. The report highlights the lasting effects of the pandemic on education, especially for Georgia’s most vulnerable populations including students of color, low-income youth, rural residents, workers lacking postsecondary training, and adults caring for children and elders. GPEE is focusing on equity as the state recovers from the pandemic, and the list of ten issues to watch serves as a starting point for GPEE’s goal of ensuring 65% of GA’s residents aged 25-64 will hold a postsecondary credential by 2032. The ten issues are:

  1. Equity – Shifting Mindset and Strategy
  2. Unfinished Instruction – Equity through Acceleration
  3. Non-Academic Barriers – The School’s Role
  4. Improving School Culture – The Imperative of School Leaders
  5. Funding – School Transformation on a Deadline
  6. Accountability – What’s the Future?
  7. Early Learning – Protecting Investments in Early Learners
  8. Revamping the Teaching Profession – A New Moonshot
  9. Workforce Readiness – A Strategy that Pays Off
  10. Rural Transformation – From the Inside Out
December 10, 2021 / Basic Needs, Equity, Food

Despite economic gains in 2021, food bank use is up from 2020 in metro Atlanta.Gallery

This year’s Metro Atlanta Speaks (MAS) survey, the largest public opinion survey in the Atlanta region, showed that 23.9% of respondents reported receiving food from a food bank compared to 17.9% of respondents in 2020. United Way’s 2-1-1 call data, however, found that fewer people were calling to request information about food pantries in 2021 than at the start of the pandemic. Calls about food pantries peaked in March 2020 at 2,255 calls. Comparatively, food pantry calls averaged around 700 calls per month in 2021. This could indicate that many families were concerned about needing to use a food pantry after the initial shock of the pandemic, but actually continued to need assistance over one year into the pandemic. 

Takeaway: The increased use of food banks in 2021 indicates the need for a more aggressive approach to addressing income inequality.