Race, ethnicity, and nativity and how these affect the circumstances of low-income working families is one of the main research questions of the Low-Income Working Families project.
Low-income status in the United States varies significantly by race and ethnicity. The fact sheet, "Racial and Ethnic Disparities among Low-Income Families," provides statistics on racial and ethnic differences in family structure, work effort, nativity or immigration status, earnings, and education levels of low-income families with children.
The brief, "Health Insurance in Nonstandard Jobs and Small Firms: Differences for Parents by Race and Ethnicity," provides new insights about health insurance coverage gaps among racial and ethnic minority groups, focusing on parents with employment in small firms or nonstandard employment. Compared with white parents, a disproportionate share of Latino and black parents have nonstandard employment, and Latino parents are more likely to have employment in small firms. These work arrangements increase the risk of being uninsured since they are less likely to come with an offer of health insurance compared to regular large firm employment.
The paper, "Residential Segregation and Low-Income Working Families," explores differences in neighborhood characteristics among white, black, and Hispanic low-income working families. Residential segregation has historically contributed to disparities in education, employment, and wealth. The findings suggest that policies aimed at reducing the persistent disadvantages facing minority, low-income working families need to address the ways neighborhoods where minorities live may be compounding these disadvantages.
Racial and Ethnic Wage Differences
The paper, "Working for Cents on the Dollar: Race and Ethnic Wage Gaps in the Noncollege Labor Market," uses data from the 2007 Survey of Employers in the Low-Skill Labor Market to analyze whether wage differences among workers of different races and ethnicities in the low-skill labor market remain after controlling for individual, job, and employer characteristics. The findings suggest that black workers earn significantly less than white workers in the less-skilled labor market, and a significant difference (12 percent) remains even after controlling for worker, job, and employer characteristics.