Black workers have little to show for big increases in educational attainment

Janelle Jones and I have a new report (pdf) out in our series on job quality. We document a large increase in the educational attainment of black workers –only about one-in-ten had a four-year college degree or more in 1979, but today the number is over one-in-four. The median black worker is also six years older today than three decades ago. But, this increase in age and education has not translated into a higher share of black workers in what we define as a “good job” –one that pays, in inflation-adjusted terms, at least what the average male worker made in 1979 (about $19 per hour), and has employer-provided health insurance, and has an employer-sponsored retirement plan. In fact, the share of black workers whose jobs meet all three of these criteria actually fell slightly, from 20.8 percent in 1979, to 19.6 percent in 2011.

Our CEPR colleagues, Matt Sedlar, Milla Sanes, and Alan Barber pulled together a very nice infographic that summarizes some of the key findings of the report.

Infographic to accompany Jones and Schmitt 2013

You can download images of all the charts in the report here, and a pdf version of the full report here.

One Comment

  1. Jack Funchion says:

    Perhaps the problem is what is being taught and learned. I think credentials are no longer a proxy for education.

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