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The Journal Gazette

September 21, 2016 1:00 AM

Income disparity by race widens

Wage growth slow for all since 2000

ERRIN HAINES WHACK | Associated Press

WASHINGTON – As wages for American workers have stagnated for more than a generation, the income gap between black and white workers has widened, and discrimination is the main reason for the persisting disparity, according to a new report.

The Economic Policy Institute also found that young black women are being hit the hardest. This gap remains even after controlling for factors such as education, experience or geography.

The wage gap today is “worse now than it was 36 years ago,” said Valerie Wilson, director of the liberal-leaning think tank’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy.

“For the most part, wages have been fairly flat since 2000, as have incomes and other economic measures,” Wilson said. “As we’ve seen this overall stagnation, those racial disparities have grown.”

According to the report released Tuesday, as of 2015, black men living in similar metropolitan areas and regions of the country make 22 percent less than white men with the same education and experience. For black women, the number is 34.2 percent less. Black women made 11.7 percent less than white women.

Since 1979, median hourly wage growth has fallen short of productivity growth for all workers, regardless of race or gender. Meanwhile, wages for black men and women have grown more slowly than for whites – resulting in the wage gap remaining unchanged or expanding in the decades that followed.