Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Race and the Job Market

I sometimes worry that many of the college students we work with here underestimate the significance of racial inequities. The recurring narratives about only needing to work hard to succeed suggests that there's a disconnect somewhere. Perhaps, some important realities are being overlooked.

An article In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap in the Times points out in fact that
there is ample evidence that racial inequities remain when it comes to employment. Black joblessness has long far outstripped that of whites. And strikingly, the disparity for the first 10 months of this year, as the recession has dragged on, has been even more pronounced for those with college degrees, compared with those without.
And more
College-educated black men, especially, have struggled relative to their white counterparts in this downturn, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black male college graduates 25 and older in 2009 has been nearly twice that of white male college graduates — 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.
Notably, the report indicates that the black men interviewed for the article "wrestled with 'pulling the race card,' groping between their cynicism and desire to avoid the stigma that blacks are too quick to claim victimhood."

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