Friday, June 26, 2009
Table A From BLS
Let's dig into the BLS.gov data. Table A-Major indicators of Labor Market Activity is a cool place to look. AP teachers only use Household Data. Here a dedicated researcher will find absolute numbers on the labor force, unemployment, and discouraged workers. Of note is the composition of workers by gender, age, and race.
Teens are fickle and most live with their parents. I believe employers are reluctant to hire teens because of training costs and the uncertainty of duration of employment. Teens will jump ship and take a higher paying job.
Steve Hipple, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said there are several reasons the average is higher for blacks than whites and has always been at least double since data has been collected beginning in 1972.
Hipple said one of the main reasons for the large gap was discrimination in the workplace.
"There are many reasons the numbers vary so much, but the main reason seems to always be because of discrimination on many levels," Hipple said.
Other reasons contributing to the rate difference are that blacks have lower levels of schooling on an average. The age ratio for blacks in the labor market is younger than whites, averaging between 16 to 19 years old. It was also noted that blacks are normally employed in seasonal occupations, and they are more likely to be concentrated in urban areas with a minimum number of jobs available.
In my opinion, the labor market is dominated by white infrastructure. What I mean is that it is who you know that often leads to employment. Since those who hire are white, it's likely that they will know and hire white employees.