Press Releases

Professional Diversity Network May Jobs Report Features Emergence of Urban Agriculture

Highlights trend for non-GMO food sources, Asian Americans' contributions to workforce

CHICAGO, May 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Professional Diversity Network (NASDAQ: IPDN) released its monthly Diversity Jobs Index and Report (DJR). The May DJR analyzes Q1 2015 employment status for women, minorities, veterans, the disabled and LGBT professionals and how severe winter weather and other factors impacted the workforce. It also focuses on the emergence of urban agriculture in major US cities—a trend bolstered by fast-food chain Chipotle's late-April announcement to discontinue use of GMOs in its menu offerings—as well as the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) to the workforce.

The report, which will shift to a quarterly publication beginning in July, explored the impact the severe winter of 2014 had on the Northeast, Atlantic region and the Midwest. Record-setting snowfalls had a significant drag on the construction, transportation, and leisure and hospitality industries in those areas. As a result, planned commercial and residential construction was impaired severely. Despite the 16% decline in leisure & hospitality in the Northeast in Q1, some of those declines were offset by increases in other regions of the country.

"Our Q1 analysis demonstrates the potential for volatility in the job market caused by external variables like weather and the price of the dollar," said Star Jones, president of Professional Diversity Network and the National Association of Professional Women. "Declines in one part of the country shifted to increases in another – providing some balance and a positive outlook for employers heading into Q2."

Other highlights from the report:

  • The Changing Face of Agriculture: The economic value of urban agriculture is estimated at $400 million annually, and the annual growth rate has averaged 16% since 2008.
  • Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a 62% labor force participation rate, slightly higher than Whites and 7% to 9% higher than Hispanics and Blacks.
  • 59% of employed AAPI of college age or older have a college degree.
  • AAPI are under-represented in retail, hospitality, construction and public-sector employment.
  • Dollar Affect: The rise in the US dollar in Q1 affected manufacturing in export-related production, except aerospace.
  • The collapse of oil prices by over 40% generated repercussions throughout the economy, including a 22% decline in employment in oil field services since Q4 2014, with indications of more layoffs pending.

To download a complimentary copy of the full report, visit

About Professional Diversity Network, Inc.
Professional Diversity Network (PDN) is an internet software and services company that develops and operates online professional networking communities dedicated to serving diverse professionals and employers seeking to hire women, minorities, veterans, LGBT and disabled professionals. Through job-matching technology, national events, networking career fairs and relationship affinity groups, the Chicago-based company provides employer clients a means to identify and acquire diverse talent and assists them with efforts to comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program. PDN's subsidiary, the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) is one of the largest and most-recognized networking organizations of professional women in the US, with over 700,000 members representing more than 200 industries. Online networking communities include iHispano, BlackCareerNetwork, WomensCareerChannel, Military2Career, ProAble, OutProNet and AsianCareerNetwork. For more information visit,


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SOURCE Professional Diversity Network, Inc.