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Gender and Racial Wage Gaps Widening for College Graduates

2018-06-05

Woman and Black Graduates’ Pay behind Their Counterparts

According to analysis published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), women and black college graduates will start their careers being paid less than their counterparts.  The study shows that black college graduates, ages 21 to 24, earn $3.34 less per hour ($6,947 per year) than their white counterparts.  Female college graduates also make less than their male counterparts by $3.15 per hour or $6,552 per year.   In the last 18 years, between 2000 and 2018, the gender wage gap for young college graduates has grown from 11% to 14.7%.  Young black graduates face a 16.8% pay penalty relative to white graduates.

The study showed that the graduates earned similar credentials and had similar levels of experience which was reflected in their pay. 

Occupational segregation or the idea that women, in particular, are more likely to major in and work in fields that pay less may come into play.  Additionally, school segregation may be a factor as black students are more likely to attend less-selective and under-resourced schools that can lead to poorer outcomes.  But the obvious factor is possible discrimination in the job hunt.  According to the EPI, these gaps are broadening and were smaller in 2000.  Starting out on the lower end of salaries will build over the course of their careers and it will be difficult for these graduates to catch up.  

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.