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Report highlights impact of race & education on jobs & wealth in Conn.

A new report says Connecticut’s economic recovery is only benefiting the state’s wealthiest citizens.  The advocacy group Connecticut Voices for Children says only the state’s highest earners have seen their wages increase since 2000.  The report says young people, members of racial minority groups, and workers who don’t have a college education are seeing negative trends in wages and employment.

According to the report, workers who have just a high school education have seen their median hourly wages go down nearly nine percent since 2002. Those with a bachelor’s degree are getting 2.5 percent less.

Black workers’ median hourly wages were 72 percent of the hourly wage of white workers, and Hispanic workers made 63 percent as much as whites.

From 2006 to 2013, the percentage of white people in Connecticut who are employed has dropped 4.5 percentage points, compared to 5.5 percent for Hispanic workers and more than 11.6 percent for black workers.

An interactive graph of employment demographics in the report is online here.

Connecticut Voices for Children is making several recommendations for creating a more equal economy in the state. Wade Gibson of the group says Connecticut is one of just three states don’t that have a tax credit or exemption to account for the cost of raising children.

“Currently, two families earning the same amount of income, one with zero kids and one with four kids would owe the same tax bill through most of the income scale." said Gibson. "This makes it really hard for moderate and middle income families to make ends meet, and ultimately affects the futures of those children.”

The group is also recommending Connecticut reverse cuts to its Earned Income Tax Credit, and continue to expand access to early childhood education.

According to the report, at the state’s current rate of growth, it will take an additional three years to recover all the jobs that were lost in the recession.

Craig produces sound-rich features and breaking news coverage for WGBH News in Boston. His features have run nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, as well as on PRI's The World and Marketplace. Craig has won a number of national and regional awards for his reporting, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards in 2015, the national Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award feature reporting in 2011, first place awards in 2012 and 2009 from the national Public Radio News Directors Inc. and second place in 2007 from the national Society of Environmental Journalists. Craig is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Tufts University.