The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was supposed to end employee discrimination in the economy, but a new Labor Day study from Pew Research Center shows the issues that burdened Black workers in 1963 continue to hinder their economic mobility today.
Over 260 years after the end of slavery, the new poll from Pew Research Center shows a majority of the 21 million Black American workers still feel the chains of Jim Crow throughout the entire economy system.
Black Americans remain more likely to work in lower-paying jobs that require more physical labor, earn less than their white coworkers, face an unemployment rate that is double the national average, and experience discrimination in hiring, retention and promotion.
Notably, no other group holds more support for diversity, equity and inclusion programs in the workplace than Black Americans.
Yet “when it comes to their own employer’s DEI efforts, 28% of Black workers say their company or organization pays too little attention to increasing DEI – the largest share of any racial or ethnic group,” the study found.
President Biden has celebrated the lowest Black unemployment rate in modern history as the economy recovers from record-high inflation. Yet the new Pew Research study, just in time for Labor Day, shows a rising tide does not equitably lift all boats.
A relic of Jim Crow: Black workers in a segregated economy
For instance, Black Americans are more likely to work in certain industries and specific roles. Despite making up roughly 13% of the workforce, Black employees are heavily concentrated in physically demanding or in-person jobs as opposed to an office or remote position, the study found.
They make up larger shares of postal service clerks (40.4%) transit and intercity bus drivers (36.6%) nursing assistants (36%) security guards and gambling surveillance officers (34.5%) and home health aides (32.5%).