has great information on census tracts and wards, so I don't have to even calculate percentages. You can click on these table headers and see all the data for the tract:Poorest by income: Tract 71
Unemployment rate (%) in 1980: 11% (city average 6.8%)
Unemployment rate (%) in 1990: 13% (city average 7.2%)
Unemployment rate (%) in 2000: 17% (city average 11%)
Unemployment rate (%) in 2005-2009: 20% (city average 9.2%)Richest by Income: Tract 67
Unemployment rate (%) in 1980: 3.6% (city average 6.8%)
Unemployment rate (%) in 1990: 3% (city average 7.2%)
Unemployment rate (%) in 2000: 0.9% (city average 11%)
Unemployment rate (%) in 2005-2009: 2.6% (city average 9.2%).
On the one hand, the unemployment rate isn't 100% in any part of DC. The census tract with the largest unemployment rate is 59% (!)(in Ward 8). On the other hand, from my own personal and familial experience, I know that being (unintentionally) unemployed is a devastating experience.
In his When Work Disappears
, sociologist William Julius Wilson
describes how low- and middle-skilled jobs disappeared from urban spaces from 1980 on and either moved abroad or to suburban areas. These low- and middle-skilled jobs were in manufacturing. Those who could move to the new areas with jobs did, leaving behind those who did not have the money to move. Also, in some suburban areas, whites imposed covenants that excluded people of color (also called sundown towns
), and thus excluding people of color from these new jobs. This mass movement of people out of these urban areas destroyed businesses and further reduced the number of jobs.
We can see increasing levels of unemployment in Tract 71 and decreasing levels in Tract 67 since 1980. It might be the case that Ward 67 has increasing levels of highly educated, specially trained individuals, who are highly compensated. There are still low- and middle-skilled service jobs, such as home health and child care workers, cleaning services, administrative jobs, etc. Worldwide, we have seen an expansion of jobs perceived as women's work (cleaning, child care) and huge declines in manufacturing work, which is assumed to be men's work. We see an expansion of women working in small electronics and clothing manufacturing, which, as far as I know, are not located in Ward 6, but rather are located in Export Processing Zones around the world. With these changes, in the United States, high-levels of education are very important to both job attainment and income, especially in DC (the land of the MA degree). Here is the data on high school degrees:Poorest by income: Tract 71
Richest by Income: Tract 67
|% persons without HS diploma, 1980 || 55% || (33%)|
|% persons without HS diploma, 1990 || 40% || (27%)|
|% persons without HS diploma, 2000 || 36% || (22%)|
|% persons without HS diploma, 2005-09 || 27% || (15%)|
|% persons without HS diploma, 1980 || 23% ||(33%) |
|% persons without HS diploma, 1990 || 9.5% || (27%) |
|% persons without HS diploma, 2000 || 5.2% || (22%)|
|% persons without HS diploma, 2005-09 || 7.9% || (15%)|
The current focus on improving DC schools is in part a response to the changing job market in DC and the US, a job market that requires much more than a high school diploma. I think that it is worth thinking about how to organize work in a more just and humane manner. How might we think about this in Ward 6?