A new study shows that, over the past 25 years, there has been virtually no change in hiring discrimination when it comes to race. A team of researchers used meta-analytic techniques to look for changes in hiring discrimination over time based on existing field experiment studies of U.S. labor market discrimination. The authors of the study were researchers from Harvard, Northwestern University, and the Institute for Social Research in Norway.
Field experimental studies involve fictionalized candidates that have matched qualities and differ only by racial background. Two types of field experiment studies were examined; one type used resume applications with distinct racial names that were submitted online or by mail. The second type sent candidates with matching resumes, but of different races to apply in person for the same jobs. In all, 24 studies from 1989 to 2015 were analyzed in which more than 54,000 candidates applied for more than 25,000 jobs.
While the researchers found a slight improvement for Latino job seekers, race employment discrimination remained unchanged for African Americans. White applicants received callbacks for jobs 36 percent more often than the equally qualified black applicants.
Little Progress Has Been Made
Racial gaps in unemployment have shown little improvement since 1980 leading scholars to challenge the prevailing thought that discrimination is waning. There has been much progress towards equality over the years in areas such as the high school graduation rates for black vs white students, and the gap between black and white student test scores. Diversity in hiring practices has been a corporate topic and makes headlines regularly with regard to tech and other industries. Public statements by large businesses declare their intention to diversify their workforces.
However, this study makes it clear that in areas of racial bias and stereotypes, little progress has been made. While outwardly explicit expression of bias may have waned, or become less acceptable, new, more subtle and covert forms have taken its place.
The study’s authors acknowledge that their research did not go back as far as the civil rights era and thus did not address any changes that happened over the 1960s and 70s. They conclude that although at one time it was assumed that discriminatory beliefs would lessen over time resulting in better hiring conditions for African-Americans, race employment discrimination appears not to have improved at all for them. Therefore, they recommend stricter enforcement of existing anti-discrimination laws and continuation of affirmative action programs to ensure equal opportunity for all job applicants. The authors referred to their findings on the persistence of discrimination as distressing.
Monmouth County Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Fight Race Employment Discrimination
If you have been a victim of racial discrimination at your place of work, contact a Monmouth County employment lawyer at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. to discuss your legal options. Our team will fight to recover compensation on your behalf and hold employers that discriminate accountable. Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation.
We represent clients in Middletown, Long Branch, Old Bridge, Freehold, Howell, Wall, Brick, Edison and East Brunswick, as well as those throughout Burlington County, Camden County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, New Jersey.