Friday news roundup January 18, 2019

Friday news roundup January 18, 2019

Ethnic minority Britons still face “shocking” levels of job discrimination, according to a new study. Experts based at the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College at the University of Oxford have found that applicants from some minority ethnic backgrounds have to send 80% more applications to get a positive response from an employer than a white British person, a level of discrimination first revealed in the 1960s. Prof. Anthony Heath, co-author of the report and emeritus fellow of Nuffield College, says: “The absence of any real decline in discrimination against black British and people of Pakistani background is a disturbing finding, which calls into question the effectiveness of previous policies.” He calls for a radical rethink about how to tackle the problem.

The number one fear for global CEOs in 2019 is recession, reveals a new survey from research group The Conference Board. Threats to global trade and political instability ranked second and third, respectively, in the survey of over 800 CEOs. Recession is the number one concern in Japan, China, and Latin America but was only ranked third by US executives. Executives in America are more anxious about cybersecurity threats and new competitors. Whilst trade barriers between the US and China have amplified fears a trade war could derail economies around the world, China’s C-suite executives only saw trade troubles as a secondary concern while the issue ranked fourth in the US.

The Australian parliament is no more diverse now than it was in 1988. Political operatives have overtaken teachers as the most common route into federal politics, with up to 40% of all MPs and 50% of all Labor representatives now hailing from backgrounds as political staffers. Only one-third of federal MPs are women—compared to being 51% of the population—and although Labor has made some progress on female representation, the Nationals have only added one female MP in 30 years. Culturally and ethnically, parliament is also struggling. Since 1988, the proportion of Australians born overseas has risen from 22% to 33%, but their parliamentary representation has stalled at 11%. Liberal MP Jason Falinski fears Australians’ ability to move into parliament has atrophied, creating a “policy elite” that doesn’t understand the real-world.

Student debt is causing a brain drain in rural America. College students are moving from rural areas to big cities where they can get higher wages and pay off their student loans, according to new research from the Federal Reserve. This is resulting in a “rural brain drain,” which is deepening an educational and political divide that is increasingly coming to define the country. The rural population is getting older, whilst the share of prime working-age people is falling. There are also fewer people with college degrees and higher numbers of unemployed in rural areas. Those in the highest quartile of loan balances are the most likely to leave.

Read more articles on Workplace discrimination and Higher education and human capital.