Summary of Racial Gaps in Labor Market Outcomes in the Last Four Decades and over the Business Cycle

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Racial Gaps in Labor Market Outcomes in the Last Four Decades and over the Business Cycle summary

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Economic inequality has persisted in the United States for a very long time, and major disparities remain. Blacks and Hispanics experience the effects of economic downturns to a greater degree than other demographic groups, economists Tomaz Cajner, Tyler Radler, David Ratner and Ivan Vidangos explain in this technical analysis of job data spanning several decades. Their scholarly report offers no quick fixes, but it does recognize that, while identifying the problem may be one thing, rectifying it is another. getAbstract suggests this highly detailed and dense read to economists, hiring managers, analysts and policy experts.

About the Authors

Tomaz Cajner, Tyler Radler, David Ratner and Ivan Vidangos are with the Federal Reserve Board.

Summary

Economic inequality has remained consistently profound for blacks and Hispanics in the United States. Blacks have continued to experience much greater and more cyclical unemployment over time than whites. Hispanics have as well, but to a much lesser degree: Hispanics’ joblessness seems to be largely due to lower educational achievement, particularly for those born outside the United States.

Readily observable data – such as “age, education, marital status and state of residence” – fail to reveal why the labor force participation rate of black men has been...


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