Friday, December 19, 2014
Despite recent job growth, native employment still below 2007: BLS data shows that all net employment growth has gone to immigrants
Data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on its website shows that all of the net gain in employment since 2007 has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal), also referred to as the foreign-born. Native employment has still not returned to pre-recession levels, while immigrant employment already exceeds pre-recession levels. Furthermore, even with recent job growth, the number of natives not in the labor force (neither working nor looking for work) continues to increase. In addition, the BLS reports that 23.1 million adult (16-plus) immigrants (legal and illegal) were working in November 2007 and 25.1 million were working in November 2014 — a two million increase. For natives, 124.01 million were working in November 2007 compared to 122.56 million in November 2014 — a 1.46 million decrease. Although all of the employment growth has gone to immigrants, natives accounted for 69% of the growth in the 16 and older population from 2007 to 2014. The number of immigrants working returned to pre-recession levels by the middle of 2012, and has continued to climb. But the number of natives working remains almost 1.5 million below the November 2007 level. More recently, natives have done somewhat better. However, even with job growth in the last two years (November 2012 to November 2014), 45% of employment growth has gone to immigrants, though they comprise only 17% of the labor force. It will take many years of sustained job growth just to absorb the enormous number of people, primarily native-born, who are currently not working and return the country to the labor force participation rate of 2007. If we continue to allow in new immigration at the current pace or choose to increase the immigration level, it will be even more difficult for the native-born to make back the ground that they have lost in the labor market.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
The average African-American genome is nearly a quarter European while less than 4% of European Americans carry African ancestry
The average African-American genome is 73.2% African, 24% European, and 0.8% Native American. Latinos carry an average of 18% Native American ancestry, 65.1% European ancestry (mostly from the Iberian Peninsula), and 6.2% African ancestry. Latinos with the highest proportion of African ancestry (about 20%) are from Louisiana, followed by states such as Georgia, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania. In Tennessee and Kentucky, Latinos tend to have high proportions of European ancestry. And in the Southwest, where states share a border with Mexico, Latinos tend to have higher proportions of Native American ancestry. At least 3.5% of European Americans carry African ancestry, though the averages vary significantly by state. European Americans with African ancestry are found at much higher frequencies in southern states than in other parts of the United States. In South Carolina and Louisiana, about 12% of European Americans have at least 1% African ancestry. In Louisiana, too, about 8% of European Americans carry at least 1% Native American ancestry. Oklahoma is the state where the most African-Americans have significant Native American ancestry. More than 14% of African Americans from Oklahoma carry at least 2% Native American ancestry. One way that history shows up in contemporary genomes is in what researchers call a sex bias. By looking at the kinds of DNA that are passed down only by mothers, they can calculate how many of a person’s ancestors from each population were male and female. In all three populations, they found the same signal: European ancestors tended to be male, while African and Native American ancestors tended to be female. Researchers found that those with as much as 28% African ancestry were more likely to describe themselves as European American than as African American, whereas individuals with more than 30% African ancestry were more likely to describe themselves as African-American. Individuals with just 5% Native American ancestry usually called themselves Latino. European Americans are the least admixed group, with 98.6% European ancestry, 0.19% African ancestry, and 0.18% Native American ancestry on average. Scandinavian ancestry is found in trace proportions in most states but comprises about 10% of ancestry in European Americans living in Minnesota and the Dakotas.
A cemetery containing more than a million mummified human bodies has been unearthed in central Egypt, according to archaeologists
Scientists have already excavated more than 1,700 mummies, preserved by the hot dry desert in the Faiyum region of Egypt about 60 miles south of Cairo. But those leading the work believe their could be up to a million similar bodies buried in shafts cut into the limestone rock that are at times up to 75 feet deep. It is thought that the mummies were buried around 1,500 years ago, between the 1st and 7th Century AD, when Egypt was controlled by the Roman and Byzantine Empire. Archaeologists have also uncovered a bizarre range of mummies, including one man who is more than seven feet tall. They have also discovered that the mummies appear to be clustered together by hair color, with those with blond hair in one area and all of those with red hair in another. Some of the clusters by hair color may actually be due to people being buried in family groups and so are related. Genetic testing may be possible to help show how some of the mummies were related to each other.
The nation's oldest black college, Cheyney University, one of Pennsylvania's 14 state-run universities, is on the verge of a financial meltdown that threatens its ability to continue operating
Cheyney's student body has shrunk by two-thirds, to about 1,000, since its 1983 peak, and its four-year graduation rate is just 9%. A quarter of its students never receive a degree, and student loan defaults are high. "Cheyney is in dire, dire, dire straits," the state's auditor general, Eugene DePasquale, said. The university has had a deficit for four of the last five years, growing to a cumulative $12.3 million shortfall as of June 30, 2013. Cheyney, located in the Philadelphia suburb of the same name, was founded in 1837 after Quaker philanthropist Richard Humphreys bequeathed part of his estate to build a school to educate descendants of the African race, according to the university's website.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
While Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska natives have seen “dramatic” increases in healthcare coverage over the last year, obtaining coverage has been tougher for black Americans, largely because they disproportionately live in states that have not expanded Medicaid, according to an extensive 65-page report by The Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group. More than half of all black individuals and families live in the 21 states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility, according to the report. As a result, about 1.4 million black individuals are stuck in an eligibility gap where they make too little to purchase coverage but too much to qualify for Medicaid. The report projects that white Americans will see the biggest gains under ObamaCare, with the population's uninsured rate falling by nearly 52%. Among minority groups, Hispanics stand to benefit the most, though the population continues to have the highest uninsured rate, at about one-fifth. A total of 6.6 million Hispanics gained coverage, a jump that is expected to drop the group's uninsured rate by about 40% by 2016. Hispanics individuals and families are more likely to benefit from their states’ Medicaid expansion, though millions more could still gain insurance if all states took the step. Out of the 10 states with the largest Hispanic populations, three states — Texas, Florida and Georgia — have not expanded Medicaid. That compares to the 10 states with the largest black populations, of which only Maryland and Delaware have expanded Medicaid.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test that can predict an individual's risk of coronary heart disease, and the test is hailed as particularly effective for black women
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the test - called the PLAC Test for Lp-PLA2 - has been cleared for use in both men and women with no history of heart disease, but studies have shown it is more accurate in predicting coronary heart disease risk (CHD) in women. The test works by measuring the activity of Lp-PLA2 (lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2) - an enzyme that is an indicator of vascular inflammation - in a blood sample. Vascular inflammation is a sign of plaque accumulation in the arteries, and this build-up of plaque can clog the arteries and cause CHD. The FDA found that the rate of CHD events was much higher among black women whose Lp-PLA2 activity levels were higher than 225 nmol/min/mL, compared with other subgroups with similar Lp-PLA2 activity. CHD events were also found to be more common among women with Lp-PLA2 activity levels over 225 nmol/min/mL than men with such levels. The FDA note that, as a result, the test is labeled with different performance information for black women, white women, black men and white men. A cardiac test that helps better predict future CHD risk in women, and especially black women, may help health care professionals identify these patients before they experience a serious CHD event, like a heart attack.
Aaron Hodges says that he isn't racist, he is just passionate about black issues.
As Australia mourns two hostages killed in a Sydney cafe, many are wondering what Islamic gunman Man Haron Monis was doing on the streets in the first place
The Iranian-born Muslim cleric, who was killed when police commandos stormed the cafe, was on bail for around 50 counts of sexual and indecent assault and for charges of being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. The 31-year-old mother of two was stabbed repeatedly and set on fire with the use of lighter fluid in April 2014, allegedly by Monis' girlfriend. Monis came to the country as a refugee in 1996.
At least 145 people, more than 100 of them children and teenagers, are dead in a massacre after nine Taliban gunmen rampaged through a Pakistani public military school
The chaotic scene in Peshawar began with Muslim militants, some of whom reportedly wore suicide vests, storming the school, taking dozens of hostages and shooting at random. Army commandos quickly responded and began trading fire with the Islamic gunmen, who initially gained access by scaling a rear wall. All were ultimately killed after an eight-hour battle, during which hostages were reportedly held in the school's auditorium. The school's 2,500 students range from ages 4 to 16. "My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now," wailed one parent collecting the body of his 14-year-old. "My son was my dream. My dream has been killed." "We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females," said a Taliban spokesman. "We want them to feel our pain." Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif quickly headed to Peshawar, where three days of mourning have been declared. The slaughter comes on the heels of the Nobel Peace Prize for 17-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai — herself the victim of a Taliban attack — and she reacted swiftly, saying that "I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror," and that "I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters — but we will never be defeated."
The Hispanic population is expected to reach about 106 million in 2050, about double what it is today, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population projections
Since 1970, the Hispanic population has grown 592%, largely because of the arrival of new immigrants from Latin America — especially Mexico. By comparison, the U.S. population overall has grown 56% over the same period. Between 2000 and 2010 alone, Hispanics made up more than half of U.S. population growth. The Census Bureau projects that the Hispanic immigrant population will grow by 57% from 2015 to 2050. The Census Bureau projects that the total Hispanic population will grow by 86% between 2015 and 2050. According to the new projections, by 2060, the Hispanic population is projected to be 119 million. In the 1990s, the Hispanic population grew by 8.1 million due to immigration and 7 million due to births. During the 2000s, Hispanic births (9.6 million) exceeded the number of new Hispanic immigrants (6.5 million). In 2010, 26% of Hispanic newlyweds married someone who was not Hispanic.