By Jennifer Proto

This was originally published, in its entirety with accompanying charts and appendices, on February 15, 2009 by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research as a Research Report entitled.  It is slightly abridged here. 

Of the 49,044 permanent part-time and full-time [state]employees analyzed for this report, self-identified racial demographic information was provided for 96% of employees. Among the total population of employees who identified a particular race, 67.3% identified their race as White, 17.3% identified as Black or African American, 10.8% identified as Hispanic or Latino, and 3.9% identified as Asian. The remaining employees identified as one of the remaining three groups (Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, American Indian and Alaska Native, or two or more races).

It is difficult to make direct comparisons between the data for the state population as a whole and the state workforce, however, as the United States Census Bureau collects race and ethnicity information separately and CORE-CT combines these concepts together. According to the Census Bureau, Connecticut’s state population identifies their race as 80.3% White, 11.9% Black or African American, and 4.8% Asian, with the remaining population identifying in smaller proportions with the remaining three groups. The Bureau reports that an estimated 16.1% of the state’s population is Hispanic or Latino and 67% is Non-Hispanic.

Managers and supervisors (hereafter referred to as managers) comprise 16.5% of the selected state agency workforce. Of these nearly 7,800 managers, 77.6% identified their race as White, 11.2% identified as Black or African American, 6.9% identified as Hispanic or Latino, and 3.6% identified as Asian. In comparison, of the nearly 38,200 non-managers, 65.2% identified as White, 18.5% identified as Black or African American, 11.6% as Hispanic or Latino, and 3.9% as Asian.

These proportions also vary across the three branches of government. The proportion of employees who identified their race as White ranges from 83.5% in the legislative branch to 63.1% in the executive branch (excluding the higher education constituent units), as compared to 67.3% across the state’s workforce. The proportion of employees identifying as Black or African American ranges from 21.9% in the executive branch to 8.3% in the legislative branch, compared to 17.3% across the state’s workforce. Similarly, the proportion of employees identifying as Hispanic or Latino ranges from 11.9% in the executive branch to 5.1% in the legislative branch, compared to 10.8% across the state’s workforce.

As we discuss below in the methodology section, limitations and inconsistencies in the data sometimes occur within the CORE-CT system, and may affect the validity of this analysis.

Connecticut Racial and Ethnic Demographics

Race

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the proportion of the state’s population identifying with a particular race is provided in Chart 1 below and as follows:

  • 3% White
  • 9% Black or African American
  • 8% Asian
  • 4% Two or more races
  • 5% American Indian and Alaska Native; and
  • 1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

The racial estimates for Connecticut’s state population were produced by the United States Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program. The census collects race data based on survey respondents’ self-identification from the completed 2010 decennial census and the ongoing American Community Survey. U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines require that race data be collected for a minimum of five groups (White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander) and allow the use of a sixth category (some other race).

These racial categories generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country which includes racial and national origin and sociocultural groups. Respondents may choose to report one race by which they identify most, more than one race to indicate their racial mixture (such as “American Indian” and “White”), or decline to disclose this voluntary information.

Ethnicity

The Census Bureau uses two categories for ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino. It considers race and ethnicity to be separate and distinct concepts and directs survey respondents to separately identify their race and whether they are Hispanic or Latino. Consequently, respondents who identify their origin as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. According to the Bureau’s Connecticut estimates, 16.1% of the state’s population is Hispanic or Latino, 67% is Non-Hispanic or Latino, and 17% did not specify (see Chart 3 below).

Percentages for the various census race categories add to 100%, and, according to the Bureau, should not be combined with Hispanic or non-Hispanic percentages, which separately add to 100%.

In contrast, percentages for the various CORE-CT race categories include Hispanic ethnicity in order to add to 100%. These different methods of record keeping make direct comparisons between census and CORE-CT data difficult.

State Workforce Demographics

Of the 49,044 permanent part-time and full-time employees of state agencies with 25 employees or more analyzed for this report, self-identified racial demographic information was provided for 47,050 employees. Among the population of employees reporting their race, the proportions identifying with a particular race are as follows:

  • 3% White
  • 3% Black or African American
  • 8% Hispanic or Latino
  • 9% Asian
  • 3% American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 3% Two or more races; and
  • 1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

Charts 3 and 4 summarize the racial and ethnic proportions of the selected state workforce group. Chart 3 compares the racial and ethnic proportions of the identified manager and non-manager positions. Chart 4 compares these proportions by branch of government. The higher education constituent units provided their information independent of the executive branch, and are therefore reported separately in the table. In addition, the legislative branch excludes legislators.

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Jennifer Proto is a Principal Analyst in the Office of Legislative Research, which provides “objective research for Connecticut’s legislature.”

CT by the Numbers’ INSIGHT periodically highlights non-partisan research as a means of furthering awareness and knowledge of public policy issues.  The entire report, including charts, tables and definitions, is available here.

This report analyzes the number and proportion of racial and ethnic minorities in the state workforce as a whole as well as its management. It is based on data compiled by the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) and Information Technology Services (ITS) from the statewide accounting and personnel system (CORE-CT) and confirmed or adjusted by individual state agencies (see Attachment 1 for a full discussion of our methodology). Attachment 2 summarizes the self-identified racial and ethnic data for employees of the selected state agencies (i.e., agencies with 25 employees or more) by branch of government. Attachments 3 and 4 summarize the data by state agency for managers and non-managers, respectively.

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