Sorry about the graphic—I couldn’t make Tumblr do tables so I had to do a screenshot from the PDF I’ve got. This is excerpted from Race, Class, and Gender in the United States (ed. Paula Rothenberg), 2nd edition, 2003. Obviously it’s old, but it gives a much more comprehensive view of wage inequality than the quote that’s been circulating.
It’s still misleading, however. As karnythia and others have noted, unemployment for POC, particularly Black people (and Black men even more so than Black women) is about twice as high as for White people. The “recession” that White people are currently experiencing is a depression for Black people, and it started in about 2000 and hasn’t really let up for them at all since. POC, especially Black Americans, have about 12% of the wealth of White Americans, and that drops to 3% if you take housing out of the equation (Black Americans are much less likely to own a home in the first place, though). This means that a short period of unemployment can really fuck them up, because they don’t have a cushion—or a family with a cushion—to get through the hard times.
Unemployment for Black men with a criminal record, which they are much more likely to have than White men due to racist policing, charging, and sentencing, is sky high, but even with no criminal record, a Black man in Milwaukee is slightly less likely to get called back for a job than a White man WITH a criminal record (Pager 2004; with a criminal record, the Black man’s chance of a callback is effectively zero while the White man still gets one 17% of the time).
The figures in the graph here are based on people who are in the labor force. That means that POC who are unemployed are not part of the calculation. A Black man with a bachelor’s degree will get paid more than a White woman with a bachelor’s degree for the same job—but he is vastly less likely to get that job in the first place.
Oh, and the bachelor’s degree. Since standardized test scores are systematically lower for students of color, and college aid, as again, karnythia and others have been blogging about a ton lately, is significantly more likely to go to White students, POC have a much lower chance of getting that bachelor’s degree in the first place, let alone the master’s degree. And of course, Black and Hispanic men STILL don’t make as much as White men even if they manage to get the degree and the job.
Statistics need to be contextualized.