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Posted under: News Race & Identity

New Study Shows Black-White Wage Gap Is Getting Worse, Not Better (And Not Just For Women)

And experts don't know why it's happening.

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There's a wage gap in the United States. As we mentioned on Black Women's Equal Pay Day, women (in general, of all races) make 79 cents for every dollar a man (also in general, regardless of race) makes.

On top of that number, black women make 13 percent less than white women of the same level of experience and education. 

This means that a black women has to work 19 months to make what white men make in 12, and almost 14 months to make what white women make in 12.

And if we want to talk about women in tech, well, it gets even worse. A recent Hired study found that women in tech make between four and 50 percent less than men doing the same job. 50 percent!

But things must be getting better, right?

Actually, no, according Bloomberg. New Federal Reserve research shows that the black/white wage gap is actually getting worse, especially for black men.

The Federal Reserve found that no matter what it tried to account for—differences in geography, age, education, job type and so on—white Americans earned more than black Americans.

The San Francisco Fed did its own study, and compared the results to one done in 1979. 

Back then, a black man in the U.S. earned 80 cents for every dollar that a white American man made. Now, in 2017, a black man in the U.S. earns 70 cents for every dollar a white American man makes.

Oh, and the Fed says it has no idea why this is happening.

“Especially troubling is the growing unexplained portion of the divergence in earnings for blacks relative to whites," the Fed's report read. Fed officials said that they suspect the worsening conditions might have something to do with discrimination or education inequality.

Photo: dafr3ak.net
Photo: dafr3ak.net

The report also found that black Americans face higher unemployment numbers than their white counterparts, and that although things improve for black Americans searching for work when economic conditions are good, during times of recession, black Americans are hit harder than whites.

The "large and persistent shortfalls for African Americans, or any other group, are troubling," the Fed wrote.

Things also may not be improving any time soon.

Lower earnings, the author said, mean less money to pay for education and training needed to access higher paying jobs.

Janet Yellen, the chair of the Federal Reserve said she was "greatly" concerned about inequality in the U.S., but also has no concrete plans for fixing the problem.


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