Home Economy Death of Middle-Skill Jobs Has Been Hurting Black Workers More

Death of Middle-Skill Jobs Has Been Hurting Black Workers More

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                Death of Middle-Skill Jobs Has Been Hurting Black Workers More

White malaise has been grabbing headlines, but in an evolving American economy, black workers are actually at greater risk of getting left behind.

That's one of the main insights in a new Kansas City Federal Reserve research paper, and it's the top item in this week's economic roundup. We also look at sticky underemployment in Germany, the divide in for-profit college educations, and the market aftershocks of Brexit. Check this column every Tuesday for the latest in interesting or influential research from around the world. 

Job polarization hurts black workers more

The decline of middle-skill employment and uptrend in low- and high-skill jobs has affected black workers in the U.S. more than their white counterparts, research from the Kansas City Fed shows. The logic is simple: black people are less likely to graduate from college, and bachelor's degrees have become more necessary for high-skill jobs.

In fact, while 39 percent of white workers were employed in high-skill jobs in 2016, just 30 percent of black workers were. And while 17 percent of white workers were low-skilled, 25 percent of black workers fell into that category.  

Assessing differences in labor market outcomes across race, age, and educational attainment
Published April 21, 2017
Available on the Kansas City Fed website
Note: The study focuses exclusively on black and white workers

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