Black workers: Consider information technology, which offers some of the best paying jobs in the country. African Americans earn approx One in 10 bachelor’s degrees in computer science nationwide. In contrast, the area around San Francisco, including Silicon Valley, accounts for only 2.6 out of every 100 computer workers.
Even with the credentials of many African Americans in the field, Dr. Spriggs said in an interview, “Silicon Valley says, ‘Yeah, but they’re not skilled.’”
But for all the evidence of racial disparities, many economists say that employers’ racial bias may not fully explain what is happening in the workplace. The idea that discrimination alone determined much of what happens for black workers at work—their employment and their pay—doesn’t coincide with how American society has changed over the past half century.
Simply put, if racism is the reason black workers have slashed pay, said Eric Hurst, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, how is it that they made such progress after World War II, with whites in pay. Largely closed the gap while segregation and other obvious barriers were still wide? And why has this progress stalled, even though racial animosity has, by various measures, subsided over the years?
The share of whites who approve of interracial marriage, for example, rose to 87 percent in 2013, the last time Gallup asked the question, from 48 percent in 1965. The share of whites who said they would vote for a black presidential candidate rose to 96 percent in 2020, to 77 percent in 1983 and 38 percent in 1958. Many other questions asked by the General Social Survey, a long-running academic effort to understand the views of Americans, show that racial bias has declined over the past several decades. .
Most of the benefits African Americans made in the workplace were made in the 1940s to 1970s, when racial prejudice was more prevalent throughout society. Then they got stuck.
“There was convergence between blacks and whites, but then it stopped,” Dr. Hurst, who is also deputy director of the Baker Friedman Institute for Economics, which sponsors a podcast I host. “The question is why.”
Source: Nation World News