Does the Job Market Discriminate Against Black College Grads?

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: Graduates participate in Howard University's 146th commencement exercises on May 10, 2014 in Washington, D.C.  Honored at the convocation were entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean "Diddy" Combs, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, Chairman and CEO of PespiCo Indra K. Nooyi, professor of surgery Dr. Clive Callender, and jazz legend Benny Golson. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images for DKC)

Does the Job Market Discriminate Against Black College Grads?

A new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that Black college grads face a more hostile job market than their peers.

Published May 21, 2014

As college graduates across the country celebrate the culmination of their academic studies, a new study has revealed a hostile job market facing Black graduates compared to their peers. 

According to a report released on Tuesday by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the 2013 unemployment rate for recent Black college graduates was nearly twice that of recent college graduates overall. Given that the aftermath of recessions hit young workers the hardest and the Black unemployment rate continues to be almost double the white jobless rate for the last 60 years, young Black-Americans finishing up college are at jeopardy. 

So, does the job market discriminate against Black college graduates? 

"Young Black workers with college degrees suffered less than their less-educated counterparts, but their poor outcomes, even as the economy has picked up, raise serious questions about economic solutions premised solely on improving the skills and education of the workforce,” the report concluded

"That Black college graduates of all ages consistently have higher unemployment rates, higher underemployment rates, and lower wages than their white counterparts, even when Black students complete STEM majors, reinforces concerns that racial discrimination remains an important factor in contemporary labor markets.”

Past studies have shown that job applicants’ names and the race with which they’re attributed play a large role in the hiring process. Researchers also recently found that drug testing helps to refute any wide assumption or bias of drug use that a hiring manager might have about Black applicants, resulting in increased Black hiring rates.

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(Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images for DKC)

Written by Patrice Peck


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