More on Racial Disparity in the U.S. Labor Force

A new report from 'The Atlantic' sheds light on the depth of racial wage and employment inequality.

By Von Diaz Nov 07, 2013

It seems the wage gap for people of color is worst than we thought. According to a report published today in The Atlantic, the amount of money a person earns is absolutely connected to their race–regardless of how much they work. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the report suggests that Latino men have the highest unemployment rates of any racial or gender category, but they work more often. Black women also have higher labor force participation rates than white or Latina women. But, white men and women earn more than black men and women, who earn more than all Latinos

The report also further illustrates how much your race could define what industry you work in. Latinos are particularly overrepresented in industries such as farming, landscaping and domestic work. Black people tend to have higher rates of working as home health aides, security guards and bus drivers. Asians make up by far the largest proportion of people working in the "personal appearance" industry, such as nail salons, but also are highly represented among software workers and physicians. And not surprising at all, 90 percent of all CEOs, and the overwhelming majority of managerial positions in various fields, are white.

But perhaps more confounding is the inverse relationship between earning potential and education. White people who have bachelor’s degrees earn the most, while black people with only a high school education appear to be earning more than those with bachelor’s degrees. This is even more the case for Latinos, who continue to have the largest high school dropout rates, and earn nearly the same whether or not they’ve finished high school, and less if they have a bachelor’s degree. 

Read the full report, complete with graphs, on The Atlantic