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Economic Recovery by Race and Ethnicity

Kathryn Decker/flickr

Eduardo Porter recently authored a fascinating article regarding rates of economic recovery by race and ethnicity. He points out that while Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans have millions more jobs now than they did in November 2007, the last month before the recession, Caucasians have actually lost 700,000 more jobs than they gained.

One can possibly attribute this to many factors, including to the loss of manufacturing jobs in many mid-sized blue collar communities, or the fact that the recovery has tended to be more brisk in metropolitan areas than in rural ones. Some might also point to elevated retirement among older Americans, many of whom are Caucasian and who therefore simply gave up their jobs.

However, this and other explanations are not wholly satisfactory. For instance, consider Caucasians of prime working age, those between the ages of 25 and 54. From November 2007 to November 2016, the share of Caucasians of prime age who held a job declined by two percentage points to around 79 percent. That means that nearly two million fewer Caucasians of prime working age have a job than if the employment rate was the same as it was nine years ago.  

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.