Ensuring Robust Minority Participation in the Job Market
The expert testimony, research, scholarship, and lived experience collected by the Commission revealed the following:
- Federal Reserve economists conducted an analysis of factors impacting per capita income growth and the growth of metropolitan areas at large for nearly 120 metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. as part of a report for the Fund for Our Economic Future based in Northeast Ohio (Eberts et al., 2006). The researchers identified eight key variables that influence economic growth on the regional level, including a region’s skilled workforce, active small businesses, ethnic diversity and minority business ownership, level of racial inclusion, costs associated with a declining industrial base, income inequality (measured by income disparity and number of children living in poverty), quality of life variables (including universities, recreation, and transportation), and concentrated poverty in core cities (Eberts et al., 2006).
- In 2007, 8.9 percent of firms in Missouri were minority-owned (Obuko & Planting, 2015).
- A 2014 disparity study commissioned by the State of Missouri Office of Administration found, “extensive evidence that discrimination on the basis of race and gender continues to operate in Missouri’s markets and that disparities exist between the availability of M/WBEs and their utilization on state contracts and associated subcontracts, as well as throughout the wider Missouri economy”(State of Missouri Office of Administration, 2014).
- The same study calculated disparity indexes to investigate the presence of discrimination by dividing a given group’s utilization by the availability of that group. An index less than 100 percent indicates that a given group is being utilized less than would be expected based on its availability, and courts have adopted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s “80 percent” rule that a ratio less than 80 percent presents a prima facie case of discrimination, referred to as “substantive” significance (Code of Federal Regulations). The index ratio for the Black population was 60.2 percent, 6.5 percent for the Hispanic population, and 32.8 percent for White women (State of Missouri Office of Administration, 2014).
These findings prompted the Commission to draft several calls to action for ensuring robust minority participation in business.
To that end, the Commission issues the calls to action found below.
Ask your employer about opportunities that may exist to intentionally expose students to your industry via internships, mentoring or other volunteer programs. Encourage your employer to develop relationships with local schools to expand opportunities for young people in diverse industries.
Suggested Reading List
Obuko S., & Planting M. (2015). The State of Minority Business Enterprises:An Overview of the 2007 Survey of Business Owners. U.S. Department of Commerce. Minority Business Development Agency. Retrieved from:https://www.mbda.gov/pressroom/publications/state-minority-business-enterprises-overview-2007-survey-business-owners#ExecutiveSummary.
State of Missouri Office of Administration. (2014). State of Missouri Disparity Study. Retrieved from:https://oa.mo.gov/sites/default/files/2014MOOADisparityStudyFinal.pdf
- Benner, C., & Pastor, M. (2013). Buddy can you spare some time? Social inclusion and sustained prosperity in America’s metropolitan regions. MacArthur Foundation Network on Building Resilient Regions Working Paper. Retrieved from:
- Code of Federal Regulations. Title 29, Section 1607.4. Retrieved from:
- Eberts, R., Erickcek, G., & Kleinhenz, J. (2006). Dashboard Indicators for the Northeast Ohio Economy:Prepared for the Fund for Our Economic Future, Working Paper 06-05. Cleveland:The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Retrieved from
- Obuko S., & Planting M. (2015). The State of Minority Business Enterprises:An Overview of the 2007 Survey of Business Owners. U.S. Department of Commerce. Minority Business Development Agency. Retrieved from:
- State of Missouri Office of Administration. (2014). State of Missouri Disparity Study. Retrieved from:https://oa.mo.gov/sites/default/files/2014MOOADisparityStudyFinal.pdf