Giving Compass’ Take:
• Kate Bahn and Carmen Sanchez Cumming lay down facts regarding how the U.S. segregates workers through systemic stratification.
• Since its conception, the United States has segregated workers along demographics with blatancy and subtlety. What can we do to inform others of the inequality this creates? How can we expose the ways in which the US segregates workers?
• Learn more about how the US segregates workers and the resulting inequalities during COVID-19.
Occupational segregation is defined as a group’s overrepresentation or underrepresentation in certain jobs or fields of work. This factsheet elaborates on how occupational segregation in the United States has contributed to lower wages for workers along lines of race and gender and, in turn, contributed to broad wage inequality in the entire U.S. labor market. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the overrepresentation of marginalized groups of workers in occupations reduces their wages irrespective of other measures of productivity such as required skill level, and that integration across occupations has stalled out for Black and Latinx workers.
In the United States, job stratification along the lines of race, ethnicity, and gender impact workers’ labor market outcomes, with groups experiencing compounding privileges or disadvantages due to:
- Occupational crowding
- Devaluation of work
- Uneven occupational integration
- Occupational segregation and recessions
- Occupational segregation, and income and wealth inequality
This factsheet presents evidence in all these categories to demonstrate how occupational segregation entrenches inequality and hurts workers’ labor market outcomes.
The sorting of workers in the United States into different jobs along the lines of race, ethnicity, and gender remains one of the most pervasive features of the U.S. labor market. It also is important to note that this factsheet does not document the full extent of occupational segregation, with research showing that there is significant stratification along the lines of sexuality, language, and citizenship status. Limiting the opportunities of workers from marginalized backgrounds maintains wage inequality, further limiting economic security, and constrains the potential of our economy.
Read the full article about how the US segregates workers by Kate Bahn and Carmen Sanchez Cumming at Equitable Growth.
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