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Report Shows Jim Crow Divide In Job Opportunities Offers Race Equitable Solutions For Job Creation Efforts

A new report by the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) shows Jim Crow still exists today in the job market, where more Black and Latino workers are cast as second-class workers, over-represented in low-skill, low-wage occupations with limited chances to move up the ladder of opportunity.

The report, From Jim Crow Jobs to Employment Equity, shows that of the seven occupations with the highest salaries, six are overrepresented by Whites. Three of the six lowest-paid occupations are disproportionately represented by people of color. One in six Blacks and one in eight Latinos are jobless, compared with one in 12 whites.

Jim Crow was a system that relegated Black Americans to second-class citizenry, segregated their participation in social, civic, and economic life, and hindered access to education and prosperity. People of color in low-skill, low-wage occupations are more likely to lack a college degree thanks to underfunded public schools and to the increasing costs of higher education. People of color cannot get to job centers far from their homes due to inadequate public transportation services. Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, and particular populations of Asians, live where employers don't locate, where local and county governments have failed to build public transit, and where the tax base is too small to properly fund schools. Even when people of color surmount these obstacles, they still often face job discrimination.

“Our findings suggest people of color will continue to work in jobs that do not provide opportunities for a better life,” said Maya Wiley, executive director of CSI, who recently wrote an opinion piece critiquing President Obama’s track record on race in the Washington Post. “If we are going to have the vibrant and healthy economy that our elected leaders promise, they need to guarantee increased wages and invest in infrastructure and education to create more equitable outcomes.”

About the Center for Social Inclusion:

The Center for Social Inclusion works to unite public policy research and grassroots advocacy to transform structural inequity and exclusion into structural fairness and inclusion. We work with community groups and national organizations to develop policy ideas, foster effective leadership, and develop communications tools for an opportunity-rich world in which we all will thrive. Visit