New Study Delivers ‘Overwhelming Evidence’ of Racial Discrimination in the Job Market

CEPR: Racial Discrimination a major feature of the labor market, black men without criminal records faring worse than recently incarcerated white men

For millions of African Americans struggling to get a foot in the door in today’s job market, the findings released by a comprehensive new study are “a kick in the gut.”

The study released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research backs up claims that fewer doors are opening for African Americans trying to find work.

Center for Economic Policy Research

The study titled, “A College Degree is No Guarantee” shows “there is simply overwhelming evidence that discrimination remains a major feature of the labor market.”

According to study authors Janell Jones and John Schmitt, “Black men were less likely to receive a callback than equally qualified white men, and black men with no criminal record fared worse than recently incarcerated white men. Blacks also placed last in the racial hierarchy, with employers favoring white men, and then Latino men, and only then black men.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also finds overall unemployment among blacks has consistently been twice that of white workers.

Another key finding by the study, “Resumes with white sounding names received 50% more callbacks from potential employers than the resumes with black sounding names. White respondents with ‘high quality’ resumes received 27% more call backs than white respondents with ‘low quality’ resumes, but black respondents with high quality resumes received only eight percent more call backs than black respondents with low quality resumes.”

Also troubling, “More recently a Chicago-based consulting firm found that 60 partners at law firms rated the same legal brief consistently lower when told the author was black (3.2 out of 5), compared to when they were told the author was white.”

Reviewers were also more likely to point out spelling, grammar and technical errors when under the impression the author was black.

The CEPR study authors also note that in 2013 more than half (55.9%) of black recent graduates who did have jobs were “underemployed.” It does caution though, that even before the great recession, almost half of recent black graduates were underemployed. That percentage stood at 45% in 2007.

Several federal laws that address racial discrimination in the workplace are listed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It includes the failure or refusal to hire a potential employee based on race.

13 Responses to New Study Delivers ‘Overwhelming Evidence’ of Racial Discrimination in the Job Market

  1. Pingback: New Study Delivers ‘Overwhelming Evidence’ of Racial Discrimination in the Job Market | Afro Universe

  2. ThePeopleofDetroit says:

    Given all our society’s strides, racial bias is still a pernicious problem.

    • Ken Trzecki says:

      do you believe that there is a difference between bias and discrimination? between what color you are and what stereotype that color represents?

      • ThePeopleofDetroit says:

        Hi Ken,

        I think bias is one’s unfounded preference for or against a group of people. Discrimination is when a person uses that preference to unfairly reward or punish a person because of that person’s social identity.

        • Ken Trzecki says:

          well said. I would agree, Thank you for the civil response. I know it is difficult because the study is only reported without the raw data and at least I haven’t seen it, but that said, given this article would you conclude bias or discrimination?

  3. Chalzy Brn says:


  4. Bruce Bennett says:

    You would think, since through affirmative action that Black’s go to the best schools ahead of more qualified whites, they would be able to get better jobs. I guess I’m wrong.

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  6. Pingback: New Study Delivers ‘Overwhelming Evidence’ of Racial Discrimination in the Job Market | HBCU Buzz

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  8. Connie Reeves says:

    This is a very sad and pitiful time that our children have to struggle through in this country. It is seriously time to teach our young people how to own business and quit worrying about employment. They should consider being the boss!

  9. Pingback: 10 Reasons Why You're Still Unemployed - Black Enterprise

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