Giving Compass' Take:
- A recent study found pay gaps between white males without college degrees and both Black men and women of all racial groups.
- How will racial bias in employment impact the labor market in the long term? What can donors do to support workers of color?
- Learn about solutions for the Black women's wage gap.
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Young Asian and white men without college education are paid more—sometimes far more—than both Black men and women of all racial groups, according to a new study.
The study finds that young Black men with no college education earn barely half of what their Asian American and white counterparts make. Latinx, Asian, and Black women lag even further.
“Earnings are an important factor to study because they’re related to other outcomes, like health, engagement with the criminal justice system and family development,” says study leader Byeongdon Oh, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of California, Berkeley’s Social Sciences D-Lab. “So we focus on the non-college population at an early age. They are already disadvantaged economically—they have very low earnings. If there’s a sizable racial or ethnic earnings disparity in this population, there may be severe consequences.”
In recent years, about one-third of young Americans have stopped their education after high school. That projects to roughly 1 million less-educated young people every year entering a job market that increasingly requires advanced education and training to earn even a middle-class salary. Latinx and Black people are over-represented in this group.
To understand their experience, Oh and colleagues Daniel Mackin Freeman and Dara Shifrer from Portland State University studied data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, tracing racial and ethnic earnings disparities among men and women who had never attended college. In 2016, they were in their early 20s.
“Striking” was the word the authors used to describe the earnings gaps revealed in the core data:
- Young Asian American men with no college education earned an average of $24,837 in 2016, followed by white men at $22,056 and Latinx men at $17,984. Young Black men averaged just $12,573—barely half the wages earned by Asian Americans and whites.
- A similar, but less severe, disparity was evident among young women with no college experience. White women on average earned $14,766, followed by Latinx women at $12,465, Asian American women at $10,935, and Black women at $10,871.
- The gap between these women and men was vast, with young Black women on average earning only 44 cents for every dollar earned by Asian American men with similar levels of education.
Read the full article about pay gaps by Edward Lempinen at Futurity .