Job Gap Series

By Guest Columnist Dec 20, 2007

contributed by NWFCO Yesterday, NWFCO released the latest installment of our job gap series. This one focuses on racial inequities in wages. Hold on to your hat: it turns out that living wage jobs are hard to come by overall, and they’re much scarcer still for people of color. For some, though, this does not come as a shock, the numbers are a real reminder of how much work we have to do – and it’s helpful to have the figures to show to the doubtful in our diverse efforts. One example from the report: in Washington state, 64 percent of African American workers and 69 percent of Latino workers earn less than a living wage for a single adult with a child, compared to 43 percent of white workers. That’s a pretty significant difference. For others, though, the numbers may not be enough. Here’s one response we got to our study, from a reporter: “I definitely understand (and am living with) lower wages than the cost of living, but I am very disgusted that this is made out to be a race issue. How are we ever going to get away from discrimination when people keep thinking they are special because of their color?” How, indeed? But I guess it’s hard to see the figures clearly when we’re colorblind. Read The Race for Wages: Living Wage Jobs in the Current Economy