News

Disparities in hourly wages reflect race, gender and education

Posted July 13

A new study shows that white men in the United States still make more in hourly wages than most other demographics. (Deseret Photo)

A new study shows that white men in the United States still make more in hourly wages than most other demographics.

The Pew Research Center analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found that, with the exception of Asian men, white men out-earned men and women of other races.

The median hourly wage of white men — who make up 33 percent of the U.S. workforce — in 2015 was $21. Black men made $15 an hour, and Hispanic men made $14. Asian men made the most with, on average, $24 an hour.

Asian women made around $18 an hour in 2015, while white women made about $17. Black and Hispanic women made $13 and $12, respectively.

Pew points out that Asian and white women have achieved some success in closing the wage gap since 1980, but black and Hispanic men have not.

College education certainly plays a role in some of the disparity, according to Pew. Workers with at least one degree tend to earn “significantly more” than those who don’t. Of U.S. adults 25 and older, “23 percent of blacks and 15 percent of Hispanics have a bachelor’s degree or more education, compared with 36 percent of whites and 53 percent of Asians,” the analysis said.

But even among those with bachelor’s degrees, data show disparities in pay among college-educated minority and women workers.

College-educated black and Hispanic men, as well as white and Asian women, make about 80 percent of what college-educated white men make. College-educated black and Hispanic women make about 70 percent of what their white male counterparts make.

And college-educated Asian men made about $3 more an hour than college-educated white men.

According to Pew’s analysis and polling, discrimination does account for some disparity in hourly pay among U.S. workers.

Sixty percent of Americans said they believe black workers and white workers are treated equally in the workplace, but 64 percent of the black population said they were not. Twenty percent of Hispanic workers polled said their race made finding success more difficult, whereas 5 percent of white workers polled said the same thing about being white.

Twenty-seven percent of women said their gender made finding success in the workplace more difficult, compared with 7 percent of men.

In addition to disparities in pay, workers in general have yet to see a significant rise in wages despite steady economic inflation, as CityLab recently pointed out.

Email: sweber@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @sarapweber

2 Comments

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  • Jim Hinnant Jul 13, 9:38 p.m.
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    D**n those white men.

  • Demute Sainte Jul 13, 8:50 p.m.
    user avatar

    Life is just not fair..... pick ANY demographic other than Asian men, and you have a gripe against "society". Good luck with that.

    As for gender being a stumbling block to wages... just claim a new "gender identity"... I suggest Asian male.
    Problem solved.