FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 24, 2018
Newly-Elected House Members Hire Top Staff of Color at Higher Rate Than Sitting House Members, Senate Staff Diversity Lags Behind
WASHINGTON – While a September 2018 Joint Center report showed that people of color accounted for only 13.7 percent of U.S. House top staffers, the Joint Center’s Live Tracker shows that 31.3 percent of top staffers hired so far by newly-elected U.S. House Members are people of color.
Newly-elected Senators have not hired any top staff of color, even though three of them represent states with populations well over 40 percent of color (Arizona, Florida, and Nevada).
Newly-Elected House Members
So far, hiring of diverse top staffers by newly-elected House Members (31.3 percent) lags behind the national population (38 percent of color), but is higher than the top staff of earlier House Members (13.7 percent).
House Democrats: People of color accounted for 43.8 percent of top staff hired by newly-elected House Democrats, compared to 24.6 percent of top staff employed by House Democrats in the Joint Center’s Sept. 2018 report.
House Republicans: People of color accounted for 6.3 percent of top staff hired by newly-elected House Republicans, compared to 4 percent of top staff employed by House Republicans in the Joint Center’s Sept. 2018 report.
Returning Members of Congress
So far, the Joint Center has tracked 12 top staffers of color hired by returning Members of Congress. These include a Latino chief of staff hired by Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto and an AAPI chief of staff hired by Senator Kamala Harris.
New Members of Congress have an opportunity to increase diversity among top congressional staff significantly, as they could hire over 300 top staff positions (chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and communications directors).
The Joint Center updates Live Tracker data regularly. The data above reflect top staff hires through December 21, 2018.