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DEED Study Documents Job and Wage Disparities

Minnesota minority groups don’t fare equally after graduation from college

7/27/2016 10:06:59 AM

Monte Hanson, 651-259-7149
Monte.Hanson@state.mn.us

ST. PAUL – An analysis by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) found that Minnesotans from minority communities earn less than white Minnesotans and are less likely to be employed full time after earning a college degree or other post-secondary credential.

DEED, which conducted the study using its Graduate Employment Outcomes tool, looked at employment outcomes two years after graduation for American Indians, Asians, blacks/African Americans, whites, people of two or more races, and Hispanics.

"This study provides additional data describing what is driving wage and job disparities in Minnesota," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "Using these data, we will develop strategies designed to close those gaps and position all Minnesotans to achieve economic success."

Among the findings:

1. Asian and white graduates were more likely to be employed full time, while other racial groups were more likely to be employed either part time or temporarily/seasonally.

2. Among those earning full-time, year-round wages, white Minnesotans led all groups with median annual wages of $43,738. Wages for full-time workers in other groups were as follows: Hispanics ($42,124), Asians ($42,015), blacks/African Americans ($41,210), two or more races ($39,434) and American Indians ($37,389).

3. American Indian (52.9 percent) and black/African American (52.6 percent) graduates were more likely than other minority groups to complete a credential below a bachelor's degree. Asians (63.9 percent) and whites (62.1 percent) were more likely than other groups to have a bachelor's degree or higher.

4. Racial minorities were more likely than whites in Minnesota to work in low-wage industries. Relatively higher concentrations of racial minorities, particularly blacks/African Americans, were employed in temporary help and social assistance jobs even after completing bachelor's degrees or higher for in-demand fields. When these groups found employment in higher-paying industries such as hospitals or manufacturing, wage gaps weren't as big. Median hourly wages for hospital jobs, for example, were as follows: American Indians ($18.60), Asians ($20.02), blacks/African Americans ($21.87), Hispanics ($20.80), two or more races ($21.40) and whites ($23.86).

More details about the study can be found here.

The Minnesota Legislature this spring approved $35 million in equity program funding to increase economic opportunities for minority communities, women, youth, people with disabilities and veterans. DEED, which will administer the programs, held two information sessions last week for nonprofits that are interested in applying for competitive program grants to provide program services. The sessions, which attracted about 400 participants, focused on grant requirements and program outcome expectations.

The funding is the first step in addressing deep economic disparities that exist in the state. The programs will help Minnesota achieve its ultimate goal of becoming a state where the economy works for everyone.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

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Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

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