The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Meeting of September 8, 2003, Washington D.C. on Repositioning for New Realities: Securing EEOC's Continued Effectiveness

Remarks of Ed Elkins, Senior Advisor to the Chair of EEOC
on The NAPA Report and Office Plans Submitted by District Directors and Regional Attorneys

Madam Chair, Madam Vice Chair, Commissioners, Esteemed Colleagues from the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, Other Distinguished Guests, and EEOC Colleagues:

Good morning. I am Ed Elkins and I serve as Senior Advisor to Cari Dominguez, Chair of EEOC. I am going to take a few minutes and talk about the NAPA report and what we have done since receiving it.

All employees were given the opportunity to provide suggestions to the NAPA panel during its study of EEOC and to comment on the Report after it was issued. Approximately 200 comments and suggestions on the NAPA Report were received from agency employees. The District Directors sent joint comments as did the Regional Attorneys. In addition, a number of Directors and Regional Attorneys sent individual comments. In several instances comments were provided on behalf of all the employees in the office.

We also received lengthy discussions and comments from the local and national leadership of the agency's bargaining unit.

The NAPA Report was made available to a number of organizations with an interest in the work of the EEOC. Further, it has been available on NAPA's web site since it was issued in February of this year. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, which is a coalition of 180 national organizations and is represented here today, provided extensive comments.

In May of this year, District Directors and Regional Attorneys were asked to develop and submit joint plans for improving operational efficiency and delivery of services within their jurisdictions and agency-wide.

There were common suggestions and themes for improving operations in both the office plans and the comments received in response to the NAPA Report.

Among them:

In the District Office Plans, there were proposals for reducing rental costs for 28 district, area, and local offices either by relocating offices to lower rent areas or reducing office space in their current locations. Where savings were estimated, after the initial expenses of moving or reconfiguring space, the estimated savings ranged from $30,000 per year for one office to $300,000 for another.

DEMOGRAPHICS AND WORKLOAD

In its report, NAPA recommended a number of factors that EEOC should consider in making decisions about the agency's structure, including population demographics, charge filing patterns, and the presence of Fair Employment Practices Agencies. I have been asked to discuss these three factors this morning.

But first I would like to provide a bit of historical perspective.

The last major review of and change to the agency's structure took place in the late 1970's.

While EEOC was reorganizing, people were reading I'm OK-You're OK, Roots, and If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries--What Am I Doing in the Pits? Star Wars and Superman were block buster movies of this era. Elvis Presley supposedly gave his last live performance in 1977 and Annie Hall won the Oscar for best picture of that year. In 1978, a new car could be bought for less than 5000 dollars, gas was 77 cents a gallon and a 1st class stamp cost 15 cents. Also in that year, in a move for gender equality, the Commerce Department announced that hurricanes would no longer be given only female names. In 1979, a group called the Village People recorded a song named Y.M.C.A and the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant suffered a partial meltdown. (No cause and effect.)

Baltimore and Cleveland were considered major cities. Las Vegas was a town of 165,000 people. Today it is the center of the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country with more than 1 million people.

Fastest Growing Metropolitan Areas

Metropolitan Area April 1, 1990 April 1, 2000 Change Percent
1 Las Vegas, Nevada & Arizona 852,737 1,563,282 710,545 83.3%
2 Naples, Florida 152,099 251,377 99,278 65.3%
3 Yuma, Arizona 106,895 160,026 53,131 49.7%
4 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas 383,545 569,463 185,918 48.5%
5 Austin-San Marcos, Texas 846,227 1,249,763 403,536 47.7%
6 Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas 210,908 311,121 100,213 47.5%
7 Boise, Idaho 295,851 432,345 136,494 46.1%
8 Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona 2,238,480 3,251,876 1,013,396 45.3%
9 Laredo, Texas 133,239 193,117 59,878 44.9%
10 Provo-Orem, Utah 263,590 368,536 104,946 39.8%

In the seventies and eighties, EEOC had absolutely some of the worst office space both in Washington and in the field of any federal agency; almost always located in unsafe and undesirable areas; buildings with elevators and heating and cooling systems that didn't work, mildew, rats, and at headquarters carbon monoxide from the underground garage seeping into the air system. And these offices were furnished with broken and decrepit furniture, often cast offs from other agencies.

EEOC started the eighties with its new structure and a backlog of 63,000 charges. It took in 56,000 new charges in 1980.

Much has changed since that time.

All of our offices are now located in safe, clean, and decent buildings.

In 1980, the total population was 227 million, 54 million less than in 2000.

There were more than 2 million people employed in the US steel industry. Now there are less than one million. There have been similar or even more dramatic declines in other manufacturing jobs, e.g. textiles and apparel.

Increases in jobs have come in the EEO-1 job groups of sales and service workers and professionals, each category gaining more than 2 million workers since 1990. There was a decline in craft workers and operatives in the same time period.

The population of the United States increased by 33 million persons between 1990 and 2000. Of that increase, 10 million were immigrants. There were 26 states that populations of 4 million or more.

The largest population growth occurred in the South and West. The South remains the nation's most populous region. Three states California, Texas, and Florida each had more growth than the entire Northeast.

With a national rate of 12 percent, civilian job growth for the most part paralleled population growth, with the Northeastern states having the lowest growth rate. .Forty percent of the total population lives in the 15 largest metropolitan areas, all of which have EEOC offices.

Largest Metropolitan Areas -2000

Metropolitan Areas States Population April 1, 2000 % of Total
1 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania 21,199,865 7.53%
2 Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County California 16,373,645 5.82%
3 Chicago-Gary-Kenosha Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin 9,157,540 3.25%
4 Washington-Baltimore District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, W. Virginia 7,608,070 2.70%
5 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose California 7,039,362 2.50%
6 Philadelphia-Wilmington- Atlantic City Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland 6,188,463 2.20%
7 Boston-Worcester-Lawrence Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut 5,819,100 2.07%
8 Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint Michigan 5,456,428 1.94%
9 Dallas-Fort Worth Texas 5,221,801 1.86%
10 Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Texas 4,669,571 1.66%
11 Atlanta Georgia 4,112,198 1.46%
12 Miami-Fort Lauderdale Florida 3,876,380 1.38%
13 Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton Washington 3,554,760 1.26%
14 Phoenix-Mesa Arizona 3,251,876 1.16%
15 Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota, Wisconsin 2,968,806 1.05%
Totals 106,497,865 37.84%

Of the ten largest cities, the six sun belt cities, New York and Chicago gained population. Philadelphia and Detroit lost population.

Population Change for the Ten Largest Cities: 1990 to 2000

City and State Population Change, 1990 to 2000
April 1, 1990 April 1, 2000 Number Percent
New York, NY 7,322,564 8,278 8,00 685,714 9.4
Los Angeles, CA 3,485,398 3,694,820 209,422 6.0
Chicago, IL 2,783,726 2,896,016 112,290 4.0
Houston, TX 1,630,553 1,953,631 323,078 19.8
Philadelphia, PA 1,585,577 1,517,550 -68,027 -4.3
Phoenix, AZ 983,403 1,321,045 337,642 34.3
San Diego, CA 1,110,549 1,223,400 112,851 10.2
Dallas, TX 1,006,877 1,188,580 181,703 18.0
San Antonio, TX 935,933 1,144,646 208,713 22.3
Detroit, MI 1,027,974 951,270 -76,704 -7.5

The median age of the U.S. population in 2000 was 35.3 the highest it has ever been. By 2008, the median age is projected to be 40.7, with more than half of all workers in the U.S. covered by the ADEA. California and Texas account for 24% of all ADEA charges filed the past 3 years.

Women are an increasingly important part of the labor force. In 1971, 43 percent of all women of working age were in the labor force, compared with 60 percent in 2002.

In the 2000 census, almost 12 percent of non-institutionalized persons aged 16-64 years answered " yes" when asked if they had difficulty working at a job or business because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting 6 months or more.

Minorities constitute 30.9 percent of the population. This population is generally concentrated in the coastal and sun belt states and Illinois. Fifty-four percent of African Americans live in the South which also has the highest proportion of African Americans in its total population: 20 percent.

The most dramatic change in the minority population was the 58 percent growth in Hispanic population, the largest increase of any ethnic or racial group.

Approximately one in eight people in the United States is of Hispanic origin. Eleven percent of the total population speaks Spanish at home.

The states where Hispanics constitute 10% or more of the total population are New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida, and the southwestern states from Texas to California. However the fastest growth in Hispanic population is occurring in non- traditional states in the South, Midwest and Northwest, with North Carolina having an increase of almost 400 percent.

There was more than a 100 percent growth in EEO-1 Hispanic employment between 1990 and 2002. This job growth has been greatest in 4 job groups: Service Workers, Laborers, Sales Workers and Operatives.

The estimated foreign-born population of the United States in March 2000 was 28 million or more than 10 percent of the total population. One half of these residents came from Latin America and 1/4 from Asia.

Over 50 percent of the residents of the Miami metropolitan area are foreign born as are 1/3 or more of the residents of the Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

Total Federal civilian employment in 2000 was 2.8 million. California had the most Federal employees (247,839) and Delaware (5367) the least.

One last demographic note: The unemployment rates for Hispanics and African Americans remain much higher than those for Whites and Asians. (In 2002, the unemployment rate for whites was 5.1 percent; Asians, 5.9; Hispanics, 7.5; and African Americans, 10.2.)

WORKLOAD

There are 28 states which averaged a thousand or more EEOC charges for the past 3 years. Texas had the most charges followed by California, Illinois, Florida, and Georgia.

For the past 10 years, 1993-2002, EEOC has averaged 82 thousand (82,455) charge receipts a year. Comparing the 1st 3 years of the decade with the last 3 years, we find an average difference of almost 6000 fewer charges in FY 2000-2002, with a wide variation between states with some states gaining receipts and some losing. The states in green had an increase in the number of charges filed, while the states in blue had a decrease, the darker the blue, the greater the decrease. During the same period total FEPA charges tracked by EEOC declined 5.4% with many states declining both in EEOC and FEPA receipts. But in a few states there were counterbalancing declines and increases. There are many factors that may have contributed to an overall decline in charge receipts, including better counseling and screening at Intake.

Today, because of shifts in workload and not being able to fill vacancies as they occur or to pay to move employees to other offices, we find ourselves with an uneven distribution of resources between field offices and widely varying workloads and productivity per investigator and attorney. One office has an annual workload of 168 cases per investigator and one office has 64. The national average is 105 per investigator. Average resolutions of cases per investigator range from a low of 74 to a high of 152 (more than twice as many), with a national average of 106. There are also disparities among our Legal Units. One district has a charge workload of 2000 cases a year and a litigation workload of 23 cases in 2002. It is staffed with 7 trial attorneys. Another district, also with 7 trail attorneys has a 3000 charge workload and a litigation workload of 35 cases in 2002.

Clearly we must address these imbalances.

The changes I have described this morning present the agency with both challenges and opportunities to serve an increasingly diverse population and work force.

There have been many suggestions for improving the structure and operations of the agency. The challenge is how to best position the EEOC with its limited resources so that it is accessible to all persons who need our services.

That concludes my presentation.


This page was last modified on September 8, 2003.

Home Return to Home Page