The retail sector in D.C. has seen significant employment and sales growth over the last few years, but wages have remained stagnant. The D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis takes a look at the numbers and explores the reasons behind the slow growth that affects a number of workers in the District. (District, Measured, 9/30)
Despite the growth in the retail sector sales and employment, total payroll at retail establishments remained stagnant and earnings per employee, after adjusting for inflation, do not appear to have increased. In 1997, a retail worker in the District took home what would have been the equivalent of $25,642 today. In 2012, earnings were up by only about $1,000 compared to 1998, but down from earnings from 2007, which stood at $28,913.
– Opinion: An instructor and restaurant server shares why she thinks people should stop applying labels like “low-skilled” when referring to task-oriented workers, and explains how perceptions can work to keep some people in poverty. (NYT, 10/1)
AFFORDABLE HOUSING | In their continuing Matters@Hand thought-leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND explores innovative affordable housing policies from around the country. (Helping Hands Blog, 6/1)
– DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson launched an initiative to expand AP classes in high schools across the city and increase course offerings available to low-income and minority students, but the failure rate has grown rapidly for students trying to pass the college-level courses. (GGW, 9/29)
– High schools across D.C. and Virginia saw rising graduation rates in 2015, consistent with nationwide trends. (WaPo, 9/29)
– The Data Are Damning: How Race Influences School Funding (Atlantic, 9/30)
ARTS | If you’ve seen some pretty inspiring garbage trucks making their way through the District lately, thank the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the Department of Public Works for hosting a competition featuring the original designs of local artists. (WaPo, 9/30)
IMMIGRATION | For Immigrants, the ‘Melting Pot’ Is a Mixed Bag (City Lab, 9/30)
Hopefully, you never find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to call the police. But in the event that you do, please make sure it is not for this reason.