Do you live in a one of the 10 most racially segregated cities in the United States, and if so, how do you feel about finding your city on the list?
The study offers this fictional scenario:
“A young, white, male high school graduate with a felony conviction applies in person for entry level jobs as a driver, a dishwasher, a laborer, warehouse worker and production worker that are advertised in the newspaper and admits to employers that he served 18 months in prison for possession of cocaine with intent to sell.
A young black man with similar education, work history and style of presentation, but with no criminal record, applies for the same jobs.
Who do you think is more likely to be called back?
If you picked the white man with the felony conviction, you guessed right.
This study offers evidence that discrimination remains a major factor in the economic lives of black men, and highlights the fear and misunderstanding of black males that permeate the local job market.
Devah Pager, a sociologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., sent equally matched pairs of testers – two black and two white – to apply for low-skilled jobs at 350 places of employment in the Milwaukee area and found that white ex-offenders were more likely to be called back for an interview than black applicants who had no criminal record.
Students test employers
In this detailed study, bright, articulate, college students posed as job applicants. Even though the results were strikingly close, black men without criminal records were called back only 14% of the time, while whites with criminal records were called back 17% of the time.
The study, titled “The Mark of a Criminal Record,” was conducted in Milwaukee between June and December 2001, and the results were released last month.
“It shows there’s a great deal of work that has to be done in the education of employers and working on attitudes,” says Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. “This type of racial disparity in employment practices really impacts us as a region. It impacts our work force, and it really impacts how the inner-city moves forward.”
Pager chose Milwaukee for her experiment because it is representative of most large metropolitan areas in its size, racial demographics and industrial base, she says.
The study’s findings would surprise few African-Americans in this city, who know from experience that this kind of discrimination exists in the job market. Research shows that white Americans, however, have been led to think that direct, racial discrimination of this nature has become less of a problem in our society.”
For Black women, the future is even more dire, as the following article explains the gains that Black women made in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, have been eroded:
Despite a history of strong labor-force attachment and despite gains in educational attainment and occupational status, black women earn less than black men, white women, and white men. In 2005, for the same hours worked, we earned 85 cents for every dollar earned by a white woman, 87 cents for every dollar earned by a black man, and 63 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. In 2006, over 13 percent of black women workers were poor, compared with 5 percent of white women, 7.7 percent of black men, and 4.4 percent of white men. Our unemployment rate is nearly double that of white women and white men.
These statistics are especially depressing because slightly more than three decades ago, black women earned 96 cents for every dollar earned by a white woman. Between 1975 and 2000, the median earnings of white women grew by 32 percent while the median earnings of black women grew by only 22 percent. This recent experience contrasts sharply with the gains realized in the 1960s and 1970s when the income growth among black women outpaced that of other groups thanks to the improvements in black women’s educational attainment and the elimination of the most blatant discriminatory barriers to employment and occupational mobility.
***What interrupted this upward trajectory? Technological change and global competition increased the premium paid for skilled workers in the United States over the 1980s and 1990s and, although the proportion of black women with college degrees increased, a racial gap in educational attainment persists. In 2007, 19 percent of black women 25 and older had college diplomas compared with over 30 percent of white, non-Hispanic women.
Another factor contributing to a decrease in the black-white earnings ratio for women was the growth in labor-force participation of white women. This growth in white women’s labor-force participation coupled with a weakening labor-force attachment of young black women and black single mothers eroded black women’s work experience advantage. In 1972, the labor-force participation rate of white women was 42.7 percent, and for black women, 51.2 percent. By 2000, the black-white difference in labor-force participation rates had nearly evaporated: 60 percent of white women were in the labor force compared with 65 percent of black women. Among younger women, those aged 16 to 24, and among older women, those 45 and older, labor-force participation rates of white women exceeded those of black women in 2006.
Finally, equal employment opportunity (EEO) legislation and its enforcement contributed to the gains of the 1960s and 1970s, while the more recent retrenchment of those policies affected today’s wider gaps. In the 1960s, EEO allowed black women with high school diplomas to leave domestic service for higher-paying jobs as secretaries, typists, and stenographers. College-educated women moved into managerial jobs, particularly in the public sector. Retrenchment in the 1980s helps explain the lack of upward mobility for black women in clerical work and their continued exclusion from high-paying, managerial positions in the private sector.
The following Salon.com article by Daniel Denvir lists the 10 most segregated cities in America.
|Source: William H. Frey analysis of 1990, 2000, and 2010 Censuses|
|Largest Metros (Total Population of 500,000 or more): Black White Segregation Indices sorted by 2010 Segregation|
|Name||1990||2000||2010||Change 1990-2000||Change 1990-2010||Change 2000-2010||Total Population||Share NH Black|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||82.8||83.3||81.5||0.6||-1.2||-1.8||1,555,908||16.4%|
|New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA||80.9||80.2||78.0||-0.7||-2.9||-2.2||18,897,109||16.1%|
|Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY||80.1||78.0||73.2||-2.1||-6.9||-4.8||1,135,509||11.8%|
|St. Louis, MO-IL||77.2||74.1||72.3||-3.1||-4.9||-1.8||2,812,896||18.3%|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA||72.7||70.0||67.8||-2.8||-4.9||-2.1||12,828,837||6.7%|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL||71.4||69.2||64.8||-2.3||-6.6||-4.3||5,564,635||19.7%|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||69.3||66.4||64.8||-2.8||-4.5||-1.7||1,212,381||10.1%|
|Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI||72.7||66.7||64.3||-6.0||-8.4||-2.4||774,160||7.8%|
|New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA||68.3||69.2||63.9||0.9||-4.4||-5.3||1,167,764||33.6%|
|New Haven-Milford, CT||68.1||66.7||63.7||-1.3||-4.3||-3.0||862,477||11.8%|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA||67.0||65.7||62.0||-1.3||-5.0||-3.7||4,335,391||8.1%|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||76.8||69.4||61.6||-7.5||-15.3||-7.8||618,754||7.7%|
|Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX||65.5||65.7||61.4||0.1||-4.1||-4.2||5,946,800||16.8%|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||71.4||67.3||61.3||-4.1||-10.1||-6.0||865,350||7.7%|
|Kansas City, MO-KS||72.9||70.9||61.2||-2.0||-11.7||-9.7||2,035,334||12.3%|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA||66.3||64.3||59.0||-2.0||-7.2||-5.3||5,268,860||31.9%|
|Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR||61.1||61.3||58.8||0.3||-2.3||-2.5||699,757||22.1%|
|Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN||68.7||63.8||58.1||-4.9||-10.6||-5.7||1,283,566||13.5%|
|Baton Rouge, LA||59.6||60.2||57.5||0.7||-2.1||-2.7||802,484||35.5%|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||62.8||59.8||56.6||-3.1||-6.2||-3.2||6,371,773||14.8%|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||69.7||64.6||56.2||-5.1||-13.5||-8.3||2,783,243||11.2%|
|Greensboro-High Point, NC||54.3||53.8||54.7||-0.5||0.4||0.9||723,801||25.2%|
|Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA||60.5||57.2||53.5||-3.2||-7.0||-3.8||1,600,852||4.2%|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||62.3||60.1||52.9||-2.3||-9.4||-7.2||3,279,833||7.3%|
|Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME||41.6||42.6||52.2||1.0||10.6||9.6||514,098||1.5%|
|Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA||65.2||58.6||51.6||-6.7||-13.7||-7.0||569,633||4.7%|
|Oklahoma City, OK||60.2||55.3||51.4||-4.8||-8.8||-4.0||1,252,987||10.2%|
|San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA||58.1||55.5||51.2||-2.6||-6.9||-4.3||3,095,313||4.7%|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||54.1||52.1||50.1||-1.9||-4.0||-2.1||1,716,289||7.0%|
|San Antonio, TX||56.1||52.8||49.0||-3.3||-7.1||-3.8||2,142,508||6.1%|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC||48.8||46.5||47.8||-2.2||-1.0||1.2||1,671,683||30.6%|
|Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL||52.6||48.9||47.2||-3.7||-5.4||-1.8||543,376||9.7%|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||43.8||46.8||45.7||3.1||1.9||-1.1||4,224,851||7.1%|
|Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC||43.9||44.2||45.2||0.3||1.4||1.1||556,877||34.9%|
|Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||56.5||52.3||43.9||-4.2||-12.6||-8.4||602,095||14.2%|
|Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC||47.4||44.2||41.5||-3.2||-5.9||-2.7||664,607||27.4%|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||43.2||41.6||40.9||-1.7||-2.4||-0.7||1,836,911||2.3%|
|Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA||47.8||48.9||39.9||1.1||-7.9||-9.0||823,318||1.6%|
|Colorado Springs, CO||44.6||43.3||39.3||-1.3||-5.3||-4.0||645,613||5.6%|
|Salt Lake City, UT||44.0||38.1||39.3||-5.9||-4.8||1.2||1,124,197||1.3%|
|Las Vegas-Paradise, NV||49.0||40.4||37.6||-8.7||-11.5||-2.8||1,951,269||10.0%|
|El Paso, TX||37.5||36.2||30.7||-1.3||-6.8||-5.5||800,647||2.6%|
|Boise City-Nampa, ID||31.6||26.8||30.2||-4.8||-1.4||3.4||616,561||0.8%|