Wages in the U.S for young college graduates bear out a color based disparity.
This was highlighted by a report of the Economic Policy Institute, which said the hourly wage gap between black young college graduates (age 21-24) and their white counterparts had been growing steadily in the past two decades.
The black Vs white pay disparity in hourly labor increased from $2.23 in the year 2000 to $2.84 in 2019.
“They’re as close to a clean slate as you can get and “and sizable wage gaps is pretty troubling,” said Elise Gould, senior economist and a co-author of the paper.
In 2019, a white college graduate will take home $2.50 more per hour than the black peers, the EPI added.
The report said the impact of the widening pay gap will be felt by the college class of 2019 who are stepping into a vibrant job market and will experience the disproportionate sharing of fortunes.
Wage gap based on color and gender
A similar wage gap exists on the basis of gender as well. The EPI report also throws some light on how this disparity is happening.
Though wage growth has been slower for both genders between 2000 and 2019, wages of men had a mild surge during that period.
Recession affected wages of the Black workforce
In the year 2000, black graduates used to earn 89 cents more than their white counterparts on an hourly basis. The data from the late 1990s and 2000 also showed hourly pay of black college graduates were relatively at par with white college graduates.
However, wage decline engulfed the young black workforce during and after the Great Recession. Gould notes that the Paper has no precise cause to offer why these gaps exist and the anomaly continues to grow.
However, evidence exists that women and people of color end up working in fields where the pay is not high.
Adding to the problem is students of color enrolling in colleges that are not high on resources to make them land in well-paying jobs.
Finally, color based discrimination in the labor market also plays a role in wage disparity.
Overcoming pay gap with continued education
Even if there is ambiguity on the matter of pay disparity based on gender and color, the mitigation process is quite visible.
To overcome the problem, young women and young back graduates seek continued education to enhance their skills.
Calling the pay gap, “pay penalty,” Gould notes that young black college graduates are remedying the situation by pursuing further education right away.
The study notes that young women, unlike young men, prefer continued schooling. Similarly, young black college graduates also prefer pursuing further education unlike their white counterparts and address the pay-gap issue.