Smart Investing

DEI Push: Attracting the Next Generation of Black Workers

By Stephone Coward

  • Black women make up  8.7% of the municipal workforce versus just 6.4% of the private sector.
  • State and local governments have slashed 1.3 million jobs

Local and state governments are the engines that keep the country running, and Black people have historically been essential to keeping these institutions afloat. More specifically, Black women have long made up a bigger share of the state and local government workforce than the private sector. They make up 8.7% of the municipal workforce versus just 6.4% of the private sector. While those numbers look promising, local and state governments across the country have been kicking up their diversity campaigns to hire more people of color due to employment findings that you don’t have to be a DEI expert to see.

Why This Matters: In previous generations, a good-paying municipal or government job provided many with economic security for present and future needs. However, over the past few decades, there has been a change. Currently 19.9% of local and state workers are women of color, as there is a heightened distrust in government. Black people have been countlessly let down by their local elected officials, who are supposed to be advocates of the community.

Additionally, there is a new lack of reliability in job stability in this field of work. State and local governments slashed 1.3 million jobs. The loss of those jobs are expected to hit Black employees the hardest. In 2020, The Economic Policy Institute warned “Black workers will disproportionately feel the pain of state and local budget cuts.”

Situational Awareness: The recent dip in Black unemployment from 7.1% in December 2021 to 6.9% in January 2022 should be a call to action for these new DEI recruiters looking to hire the next generation of state and local government workers. As the American economy attempts to build back better, one can only hope that Black lives and Black wallets are respected and protected. 

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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