Jobs Access

In an effort to measure equitable access to quality jobs across regions, we rely on three measures. First is the overall unemployment rate, which measures the share of those actively looking for a job who cannot find one. Second, to address racial/ethnic differences in access to jobs, we compared the differences in unemployment rates for whites and for African-Americans. While a similar comparison would be possible between other groups, African-Americans were the group most consistently disadvantaged relative to whites and present in significant numbers in all regions. Lastly, to measure not only whether people were employed but also whether employment paid well enough to raise families out of poverty, we compared working poverty rates, or the share of employed individuals who fall below the Federal poverty threshold.

How we score


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