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WASHINGTON — There are few economic problems more frustrating than the stubborn gaps in wages and unemployment rates between blacks and whites. Despite decades of trying to reduce or eliminate these gaps, black workers continue to experience higher unemployment rates and lower wages than whites. That’s true even after correcting for age, education and occupational differences. This is not a formula for racial harmony.

The latest evidence of the gaps comes in a study by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. They found that, since 1979, the average earnings of black men had slipped from about 80 percent of white male earnings ($15 per hour versus $19 per hour in inflation-corrected dollars) to about 70 percent of white male earnings ($18 per hour versus $25 per hour) in 2016. Although black wages had increased, the gain lagged significantly behind that of whites.

For black women, the trend was similar, though the gaps were smaller. From 1979 to 2016, black women’s wages fell from roughly 95 percent of white women’s wages ($11 versus $12 an hour) to 82 percent ($16 versus $20).

To explain these gaps, the economists — Mary Daly, Bart Hobijn and Joseph Pedtke — searched for factors that …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

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