In Retail, a Race Problem Hidden in Plain Sight

June 4, 2015 | | CBS MoneyWatch |
When it comes to equal pay and promotion opportunities, it appears blacks and Latinos are losing out in the retail industry.
 
Minorities tend to hold fewer managerial roles and suffer from a significant pay gap when compared with white workers, according to a new paper from Demos, a left-leaning think tank, and the NAACP. Some policies retailers use, such as relying on "just in time" scheduling and part-time workers, also tend to hurt racial minorities, given that black workers often want to work more hours than they're given, the report noted.
 
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"It's telling that we have so many kinds of workforce statistics that have made no gains since the civil rights era, like the relationship of the black and white unemployment rate," Catherine Ruetschlin, senior policy analyst at Demos, told CBS MoneyWatch.
 
The black unemployment rate stood at 9.6 percent in April, or almost twice the 4.7 percent rate for white workers. That two-to-one ratio hasn't budged for about 40 years. Ruetschlin added: "Black family income is lower in relation to white family incomes since the civil rights era. We've actually backtracked."