‘Gaps Are Widening’ Between Employment, Income Levels Of Pittsburgh’s Black And White Residents

Apr 19, 2019

The City of Pittsburgh's second annual report on equity found the city was no more equitable in 2018 than in 2017. However, some indicators did see change.

The report looked at how people of different races, genders, and incomes experience the city. In some ways, such as access to childcare and student success, the gap in the experience between black and white residents narrowed.

But in other ways, like median household income, poverty, and employment, the numbers grew further apart.  

"In general, income and employment rates are improving for white residents and at the same time are declining for black residents," said Linnea Warren May, a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. "So, gaps are widening."

Health factors including infant mortality, low birth weight, and heart attack hospitalizations got less equitable as well.

In terms of male and female disparities, representation in local government and enrollment in career technical education became more equitable.

Looking at equity between low and high-income Pittsburghers, voter turnout for local elections increased slightly. But health status and outcomes, such as diabetes and hypertension, got less equitable.

Sharing the data is crucial, according to the city's senior resilience coordinator Rebecca Kiernan.

"A lot of the indicators are things that the city itself can't necessarily affect," Kiernan said. "But we're trying to figure out how we can leverage our partnerships with other organizations, think about some of our policies or some of our programming and how they might impact those indicators down the line."

The full report can be found here.