Growing wealth gap for minorities

Statement from SEIU President Mary Kay Henry on the largest racial wealth gap in 25 years

WASHINGTON, DC – Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement on a newly released Pew Research Center report about the growing wealth gap for minorities.

“When the economy struggles, communities of color bear the burden. On top of facing dramatic declines home values, the highest unemployment rates in the country, and threats to cut critical services that seniors depend on like Medicaid and Medicare, a Pew Research Center report shows that millions African American and Latino workers are experiencing the largest wealth gap in 25 years.

“The median net worth for white families is 20 times the net worth of African Americans and 18 times the net worth of Hispanics and both groups held less than $7,000 while the median for a white family was $113,149.

“A crippling jobs crisis is already forcing millions of middle class families to choose between paying their mortgages, buying food, or covering medical expenses, and communities of color, despite decades of gains, will likely face an imbalanced recovery because of economic disparities.

“Instead of creating jobs that help workers provide a good life for their families, right-wing politicians are pushing job-killing policies and massive tax breaks for CEOs and millionaires.

“Everyday it becomes clearer that we need to take a stand to create good jobs that help rebuild the middle class and help workers provide a strong future for their children. Close the wealth gaps with good jobs.”

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With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers — not just corporations and CEOs — benefit from today’s global economy.

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