Most minorities don't reap benefits of California's strong labor market, according to UCSF researchers

September 04, 2000

While California's labor market continues to be strong, Latinos and African Americans - who together make up 31 percent of California's working population - are being left behind by the state's technology-driven economic boom, according to the results of the third California Work and Health Survey (CWHS), led by UCSF researchers.

"California's rising tide is not lifting all boats," said Irene Yen, PhD, an epidemiologist at the UCSF Institute for Health and Aging and co-investigator on the CWHS. "When compared with the state's white working population, working Latinos and African Americans are still playing catch up."

Latinos are much less likely than whites to benefit from the growth in jobs in the high technology sector because they are less likely than whites to have completed high school or college and much less likely than whites to report using a computer in their work places, she said.

Among employed Californians, Latinos are 11 times more likely than whites to live in poverty. They are also more likely than whites to lack pension plans and health insurance coverage and to report poor perceived health status, she added.

Only 25 percent of Latinos have traditional jobs, as compared to 36 percent of whites and 38 percent of Asian Americans, Yen said. She explained that traditional job workers were defined in the 1999 CWHS as those who hold a full-time job year-round, work a day shift as a permanent employee, are paid by the firm for which the work is done, and do not work from home or as independent contractors.

"Though the California job market is changing and increasing numbers of Californians are working in non-traditional jobs, traditional jobs are still associated with more stable incomes and availability of pension and health care plans," she explained.

As with Latinos, only one quarter of African Americans report having a traditional job. Similarly, African Americans in the labor force are more likely than whites to have lower incomes and temporary jobs and to report poorer health status. They are two-thirds more likely than whites to report high blood pressure.

These results show a striking contrast in health experiences for different racial, ethnic groups in California, said Yen, who added that these results of poorer employment and health status persist even after taking into account age, sex and educational level.

Asian Americans showed mixed employment and health results, she said. Over 50 percent reported at least a college degree, compared to 40 percent of whites. Asian Americans are just as likely as whites to have a traditional job, a pension plan and health insurance coverage, she said. However, Asian Americans are still over twice as likely as whites to have poverty household incomes. The 2000 California Work and Health Survey included only English-speaking Asian Americans.

Additional findings for employed minorities:
To complete the California Work and Health Survey, researchers interviewed 2,168 California adults (1,265 of whom were part of the 1999 CWHS). The 2000 California Work and Health Survey is the third year of a longitudinal study of the California adult population. Researchers at UCSF are funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation. The survey was administered by the Field Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization in San Francisco.

University of California - San Francisco

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to