African-American and Latino cashiers, salespeople and first-line managers are paid less, are less likely to be promoted off the floor and more likely to be poorer than their white counterparts in the retail industry, a new study showed Tuesday.
The study, done by the NAACP and Demos, a public policy organization, found that in the major jobs held by retail workers, African-Americans are paid the least, followed by Hispanics. They also are less likely to get full-time jobs instead of part-time and are underrepresented in management positions.
The overall unemployment rate is 5.5%, and the rate for African Americans and Latinos is still higher than the rate for whites, coming in at 10.2% and 6.7% respectively. The unemployment rate for whites is currently 4.7%.
In FY 2014, per-student state appropriations for higher education were 24 percent below the funding level in 1989. The result, also shown in the chart, is that net tuition revenue (the tuition received by public colleges and universities after grant aid is subtracted) has more than doubled during this period. Considering that three-quarters of all undergraduates are enrolled in public institutions, it’s not surprising that this increase in tuition prices has led to a large increase in student loan borrowing.
According to a new report, minorities who work in retail earn less and are less likely to be promoted than their white counterparts. The study, released yesterday by the NAACP and public-policy group Demos, found that retailers pay black and Latino full-time salespeople about 75 percent of what they pay white workers in the same positions.
The second largest source of jobs for black people in the country is also one of the worst industries to work in. Although big retailers tout their “entry level” positions as a path to the middle class, retail work is built on dead-end jobs that perpetuate racial inequality.
Retail workers — sales clerks, cashiers and stock people — account for one in six jobs in the United States and a large share of the new positions created in the years since the recession. Many of the jobs are low-paying, making retail a major culprit in one of the most difficult challenges confronting the economy: stagnant wages.