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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 04:35 AM

'Barely above water': US shutdown hits black federal workers hardest


As shutdown barrels into its third week over Trumps border wall the weight of that uncertainty is being disproportionately shouldered by black Americans

Jamiles Lartey in New Orleans
@JamilesLartey
Fri 11 Jan 2019 01.00 EST

As a 26-year-veteran of the National Parks Service, this isnt the first time Lora Williams has been furloughed during a government shutdown and had to make ends meet without a paycheck.

But this one, she said, is the worst ever. I dont have cash reserves and Im barely staying above water, said Williams. The uncertainty is driving me crazy.

And as the shutdown over Donald Trumps border wall barrels into its third week, when it would become the longest in US history, the weight of that uncertainty is being disproportionately shouldered by black Americans like Williams who make up 12% of the US population, but more than 18% of the federal workforce, according to a study by the Partnership for Public Service.

My mother tells me bless her heart theres a bed here if you need it, Williams said, her voice becoming emotional. Im 50. Im not going back to my parents house.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/11/governmnet-shutdown-black-federal-workers-trump-border-wall

4 replies, 788 views

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 06:34 AM

1. While MSNBC interviews a man who won't be able to buy a new truck as planned,

I think instead of those who won't be able to go grocery shopping this weekend as planned.

And it makes me feel sick with anxiety on their behalf.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 09:12 AM

2. That's what 45 meant: "I don't care' that most federal employees working without pay are Democrats"

Should have realized that right away.

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Response to tanyev (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 08:41 PM

3. Depends on the section of government.

Once when there was a push to downsize the government and freeze pay, the disparate impact was pointed out. The reduction in government hit African-American hardest, because the government disproportionately hires African-Americans. Not by a huge amount, overall, but percentage-wise it's significant.

Hispanics also are far behind in overall government employment, making up just 8.6 percent of federal employees. African Americans are 10.5 percent of the civilian labor force but 18.4 percent of federal employees. Civilian labor force percentages commonly are lower than population percentages....

Government-wide data obscures wide variations among agencies. Black representation in executive departments, for example, ranges from about 38 percent in Education and Housing and Urban Development to a low of 5.6 percent in Interior. For Hispanics, the highest representation is 22 percent in Homeland Security; the lowest is 3.3 percent in Health and Human Services.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2018/04/02/latest-federal-diversity-report-from-opm-shows-little-or-no-progress-and-some-regression/?utm_term=.e3f590559010

For more details you'd need more details as to which portions of government are shut down.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10:27 PM

4. Sorry, I wasn't trying to imply anything about the actual demographics of the federal workforce,

but theorizing about Trump's perception of the demographics of the federal workforce.

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