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Racial Divide in Hiring, College Degree or Not

African-American men with college degrees are less likely to be hired than white male counterparts in 2009, according to government data.

African-American men with college degrees are less likely to be hired than white male counterparts in 2009, according to government data.

Education and background being equal, black men and women still face higher rates of unemployment than their white counterparts, according to a report in today’s New York Times.

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.

Various academic studies have confirmed that black job seekers have a harder time than whites. A study published several years ago in The American Economic Review titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” found that applicants with black-sounding names received 50 percent fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names.

A joint study out of the University of Miami and the University of California, Berkeley found that the race of a hiring manager affected who was hired racially-speaking, according to Science Daily. The study was done over 2 years at a large retail chain, and the findings were published in the Journal of Labor Economics.

[T]he study found that when a black manager in a typical store is replaced by a white, Asian or Hispanic manager, the share of newly hired blacks falls from 21 to 17 percent, and the share of whites hired rises from 60 to 64 percent. The effect is even stronger for stores located in the South, where the replacement of a black manager causes the share of newly hired blacks to fall from 29 to 21 percent.

To help combat being left out of the hiring discussion, these men are removing race-defining aspects of their names and deleting Afro-American-centric organizations from their resumes,  according to the article.

(Image by bluephi.net via Flickr CC 3.0)

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