San Diego Inequality - and what you can do about it

Summary
Only 37% of San Diego County high school grads complete college
53% of San Diego families can’t afford the cost of living
"Left unaddressed, San Diego will no longer be an attractive place to live or work.

Economic Perspective of Racial Inequality in San Diego

Racial inequality was created on purpose with public policy and we continue it today with implicate bias. This racial inequality has contributed to income inequality. If we want San Diego (and other cities around the U.S.) to thrive, we have to address racial inequality.

Until 1968, public policy made it extremely difficult for Black San Diegans to rent or buy outside of SE San Diego. The 94 was actually built to keep Black people from visiting predominantly white neighborhoods north of the 94. All neighborhoods studied had racial discrimination policies in their covenants. And less than 2% of home loans were made to communities of color. San Diegans who experienced this discrimination are still alive today! And this difficulty of accumulating wealth in the past, doesn’t just end when the policies end.

Even in schools, white teachers are more likely to have lower expectations of Black students than Black teachers. These lower expectations can actually result in lower performance. Black students are less likely to be referred to gifted programs than white peers with the same test scores!

In the job market, a popular study design is to send out resumes with slight differences randomly to employers and measure callbacks. When fictitious job applicants “Emily” and “Lakisha” applied for jobs with the exact same resume, “Emily” got 50% more callbacks than “Lakisha.” Another study randomly assigned felony records to applicants. Resumes from a white person with a felony received more callbacks than resumes from a Black person with a clean record.

What can you do??
The San Diego Workforce Partnership is trying to make things better for ALL San Diegans.

Employers can:
Create employee ownership plans (stock options) that provide huge tax advantages for business owners
Incentivize diverse referrals
Read applications name-blind
Conduct more structured interviews

People looking for work can:
Check out workforce.org/mynextmove from the San Diego Workforce Partnership. It’s packed with tools and information to help people:

Identify career opportunities that align with your strengths and interests

  • Find local training programs and live job postings
  • Connect with services and resources to help you stand out
  • Use labor market information to make informed training and career decisions

Sifting through online career resources can be overwhelming. The Workforce Partnership hopes centralizing San Diego-specific tools and information will make things easier for students, job seekers and curious career explorers.

By working to increase equity, we will improve wealth and future outlook for everyone!