•Press Release Black Unemployment EEOC Inequality Jobs United States
Washington, DC — In a new report published today, the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s (CEPR’s) Algernon Austin illustrates the ongoing racial discrimination against Black people in employment, or, as he puts it, “the continuing power of White preferences in the labor market.”
By investigating a range of group comparisons, ranging from educational attainment to city of residence, the report reveals that White people as a group always have better employment outcomes than similar Black people. Austin looked at the following categories, and found that White preferences persisted across them: veterans, people with disabilities, people who are formerly incarcerated, foreign-born people all fare better in finding employment if they are White, and even when educational attainment, skills, and city of residence are the same, Black job-seekers do worse.
Some striking key takeaways can be found below:
“For the sake of obtaining employment, if one had to choose between being a White high school dropout or a random Black person, the correct choice would be to be a White high school dropout,” said Austin.
Some of these outcomes can be attributed to overt anti-Black attitudes, while others to the more covert form of discrimination that results from hiring within White social networks. To address these trends, the U.S. needs stronger anti-discrimination enforcement, a Federal Reserve committed to achieving maximum employment, and a national, subsidized employment program targeted to high-unemployment communities. None of these policy solutions can stand alone, but rather can work alongside one another to close the White-Black unemployment gap.
“The Continuing Power of White Preferences in Employment” can be read here.