The Job Market Discriminates Against Black College Grads

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 05/22/2014 | 04:30 PM EDT

Center for Economic and Policy Research finds disproportionate jobless rates between Black and White grads

Well, this isn’t good…

Being a recent college graduate has its pitfalls in today’s job market, but for degree holders of color, the future is far more bleak.

A new report released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research indicates that African-American recent grads have more difficulty landing employment, citing job market discrimination as a leading cause.

Since the economic recovery, the jobless rate between Black college grads and the overall number of recent graduates has widened significantly. In fact, African-American graduates are twice as likely to be unemployed.


Downturns for young workers are particularly more challenging than for older workers, and the Black jobless rate has been consistently almost double the White jobless rate for the past 60 years. And with that kind of backdrop, it comes to know surprise why recent Black college graduates find themselves either jobless or chronically underemployed. Reports also found that Black men tend to underrepresented in management and professional occupations, yet overrepresented in low-wage work.

HuffPost reports:

A large part of this problem is job market discrimination. One study found that job applicants with "black sounding" names (researchers gave Lakisha Washington and Jamal Jones as examples) were less likely to get called back for an interview than their counterparts with the same qualifications who had "white sounding" names (like Emily Walsh or Greg Baker). And some researchers have suggested that drug testing would improve the prospects of black job-seekers because hiring managers are more likely to assume they’ve used drugs and are less likely to discriminate when presented with actual evidence to the contrary.


To add more salt to the wound, experts say a person starting out at a disadvantage straight out of college will face the economic consequences over a lifetime because earnings over the course of a career depend critically on where a person begins. Others also point out that this current could have lasting effects on the country's already-wide racial wealth gap.

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