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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap

Hmmm, I try to have some optimism as a college graduate. I know I have some strikes against me as I have finally graduated from college at a much older age than most. I just hate to think that race could be one of those strikes against me in the job market:
That race remains a serious obstacle in the job market for African-Americans, even those with degrees from respected colleges, may seem to some people a jarring contrast to decades of progress by blacks, culminating in President Obama’s election.

But there is ample evidence that racial inequities remain when it comes to employment. Black joblessness has long far outstripped that of whites. And strikingly, the disparity for the first 10 months of this year, as the recession has dragged on, has been even more pronounced for those with college degrees, compared with those without. Education, it seems, does not level the playing field — in fact, it appears to have made it more uneven.

College-educated black men, especially, have struggled relative to their white counterparts in this downturn, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black male college graduates 25 and older in 2009 has been nearly twice that of white male college graduates — 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.

Various academic studies have confirmed that black job seekers have a harder time than whites. A study published several years ago in The American Economic Review titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” found that applicants with black-sounding names received 50 percent fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names.

A more recent study, published this year in The Journal of Labor Economics found white, Asian and Hispanic managers tended to hire more whites and fewer blacks than black managers did.

The discrimination is rarely overt, according to interviews with more than two dozen college-educated black job seekers around the country, many of them out of work for months. Instead, those interviewed told subtler stories, referring to surprised looks and offhand comments, interviews that fell apart almost as soon as they began, and the sudden loss of interest from companies after meetings.

Whether or not each case actually involved bias, the possibility has furnished an additional agonizing layer of second-guessing for many as their job searches have dragged on.
Another aspect of this problem is the name thing. I posted it in the excerpt (I hope you read the whole thing, BTW). I hope that I can give my children respectable names they could be rather ethnic, but hopefully names that won't cause anyone to pass them over in the job market.

The names I have ran across especially among black people seem to indicate an ability to create names. I think this could be a problem and these names I would see as ghetto. Of course that is only my opinion. Hopefully I can give my children rather plain names and that the names either I or my "eventual" wife would give are respectable names.

What do you think about this particular topic and "Black" names in general?

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