Is there discrimination in the U.S. labor market?
Taram Ambrose Okpu
Davis College of Business
Oct 15, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGES
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY…………………………………………….. 3
LITERATURE REVIEW ………………………………………….. 5
DISCRIMINATION IN THE LABOR MARKET…………………. 5
SOLUTIONS…………………………………………………………. 10DIFFERENT VIEWS………………………………………………… 11
Discrimination in a labor market refers to a differential treatment of employees and job applicants based on various individual characteristics. These characteristics may include race, gender, sex, age, or ethnic backgrounds. Employers, on the other hand, consider many factors in the hiring process. By such considerations, they will hire some workers while other applicants are not considered. Certain types of discrimination may play an important part in the hiring of employees. From the Civil Rights movement, numerous social and legal reforms led to the incorporation of different races in various sectors of the economy and society. The reforms made it illegal to discriminate against an individual based on their race. Since then, numerous laws and policies have been passed in an attempt to reduce the rates of racial discrimination in the workplace and in the hiring processes. Due to such efforts and measures, many people have assumed that there are lower rates of discrimination in the country. Studies, however, indicate that the levels of discrimination in the country have not changed. Employers in the country still discriminate against the African Americans, the Latinos, and other minority communities (Quillian, Pager, Hexel & Midtbøen, 2017).
Discrimination can be defined as the unjust treatment of different groups of people. It can be due to race, sex, or age. In addition, discrimination involves bias. On the other hand, the labor market is the availability of employment in regards to the demand and supply. Similarly, it may mean the demand and supply for labor. It is usually a major aspect of the economy. The United States labor market consists of people from various ethnic backgrounds. The paper discusses whether discrimination exists in the United States labor market. The United States labor is marked by discrimination. The blacks suffer more from unemployment rates than the whites having the same educational achievements (Hart-Landsberg, 2017). A research conducted earlier show that the blacks with a BA or higher are equal to the whites who are unemployed but with college or no degree (Hart-Landsberg, 2017: Boo, F. L., Rossi et al., 2013). The young workers have high levels of unemployment. However, the rate for the black youth is higher than that of the white (Hart-Landsberg, 2017).
In the United States, one of the greatest concerns in the labor market is racial discrimination. America enjoys a great racial diversity. Workers are therefore from different social backgrounds and ethnic cultured. Any advertised job will thus have applications from nearly all the racial groups in the country. The different races in the United States include the White, Hispanic, Black, Asians, and mixed races among others. According to research performed by different scholars, the level of discrimination in the job market has not changed despite the numerous legislation and awareness aimed at ensuring fair hiring and remuneration processes (Quillian, Pager, Hexel & Midtbøen, 2017). Numerous problems have been caused by racial discrimination in the country. The paper discusses discrimination as applies to American labor.
Various datasets that contain the information of all registered financial advisors that work in the United States have been created. The employment history together with the gender of the advisors is part of the information collected. It is realized that males and females are involved in the misconduct. Additionally, the data shows that the female financial advisors are discriminated against (Schmitt, 2017). They are less likely to involve themselves in a financial misconduct compared to the male advisors (Schmitt, 2017). The women who engaged in misconduct received harsher punishments (Schmitt, 2017). The difference in treatment reveals discrimination in the labor market. The United States labor is marked by discrimination especially among people of color in areas dominated by whites (Boo, Rossi, & Urzúa, 2013). The blacks suffer more from unemployment rates than the whites having the same educational achievements (Hart-Landsberg, 2017). A research conducted earlier show that blacks with a BA or higher are equal to the whites who are unemployed but with college or no degree (Hart-Landsberg, 2017). The young workers have high levels of unemployment. However, the rate for the black youth is higher than that of the white (Hart-Landsberg, 2017). Problem.
Discrimination in the Labor Market
The labor market refers to the platform onto which employers and employees meet and interact. The employers attempt to hire the best employees from the job market. The employees, on the other hand, strive to find the most competitive employment terms. There are numerous processes and activities involved in the labor market. These include the advertising of jobs, application for jobs by interested applicants, development of resumes by the potential employees, shortlisting, interview processes and the consequent hiring.
A labor market may feature two types of discrimination. These are interpersonal and institutional. Interpersonal discrimination is the differential treatment of individuals due to their race or individual attributes (Krings, Johnston, Binggeli, & Maggiori, 2014). Institutional discriminations are the policies and laws that deny certain people equal treatment due to their race, gender, ethnic affiliations, or age (Acevedo-Garcia, D., Rosenfeld, Hardy, McArdle, & Osypuk, 2013).
Racial discrimination in the labor market, therefore, refers to the bias that employers have toward recruiting employees from certain races. Labor market discrimination has plagued the United Stated labor industry for a long time now resulting in differential treatment that may exist later on in the workplace (Krueger, Cramer, & Cho, 2014). An important factor in the hiring process may be education, which has rendered many graduates jobless in the U.S (Nunley, Pugh, Romero, & Seals, 2015). Before the introduction of equity in education, illiteracy and lack of skill was a common explanation for discrimination in the U.S. labor (Krueger, Cramer, & Cho, 2014). By then, lack of skills, low qualifications and illiteracy could explain why numerous employers hired fewer African Americans and Latinos.
Since then, policies and laws have ensured that Black Americans and Latinos get the same opportunities in education like the White. The policies and laws are aimed at reducing inequality and creating equal employment chances for all the races in America. Education has however not been successful in reducing the bias and prejudices that employers have against the black Americans (Gaddis, 2014).
The Problems of Racial Discrimination in the Job Market
Discrimination exists in the labor market of the United States. There is evidence to support the argument. The United States faces gender bias in the market especially involving black Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) employees whose sexual orientation do not affect their performance on the job (Ozeren, 2014). Gary argued that a good market works to eliminate any form of bias including racial discrimination (Schmitt, 2017). Further, Gary argued that employers who do not discriminate against other people attract productive employees (Schmitt, 2017). As a result, there is growth. The racial or ethnic differences implies that push to have better jobs should be accompanied by various policies meant to nature of discrimination in the United States labor market. An average black worker is highly disadvantaged in the U.S labor market regardless of his/her age (Shapiro, Meschede, & Osoro, 2013). In addition, the employment and wage gaps of blacks are smaller for the workers with high skills (HartLandsberg, 2017).
Job market discrimination in any economy has extensive effects. These impacts may be social, economic, or political spectacles, which are the drivers of the society (Veniegas, & Sidanius, 2013), The black Americans and Latinos make up a considerable percentage of Americans. When such races are discriminated against in the job market, there will be a serious impact on the country. A democratic nation should try to ensure that all its diverse citizens have adequate representation in all the sectors of the economy and political systems (Veniegas et al., 2013).
Discrimination creates large gaps between the rich and the poor. When individuals from specific groups are unable to find sustainable employment, they will not have any means to sustain themselves. The Black and Latino communities in the U.S. record the highest number of poor and unemployed households due to high levels of unemployment because of racial discrimination (Shapiro, Meschede, & Osoro, 2013). As the economy progresses, the poor communities become poorer and while the social divide widens. A democratic nation must always strive to ensure economic equality among its citizens. With increasing levels of discrimination, a section of the population will utilize the largest percentage of the resources of the country while others live in abject poverty
Mental Torture and Increased Suffering
When one is unable to find a job yet they are qualified, they experience mental health problems (Milner, Page, & Lamontagne, 2014). Distress and general mental unrest have many consequences in a population. These effects may include increased rates of suicide, higher stress rates, and rising blood pressure conditions (Milner et al., 2014). When individuals feel discriminated, they have a sense of stigma and generally very sensitive to comments. Minor misunderstandings will therefore easily evolve into violence. Psychological issues may also lead to alcoholism and drug abuse (Milner et al., 2014).
Political and Social Tension
Political and social tension is the state where any minor incidence in a society or nation is likely to escalate into a serious civil strife. Tension occurs when a given group feels intimidated and wronged by another. Political tension may also lead to massive demonstrations and social standoffs in a country. One historic example of political and social tension was during the time of Martin Luther King Jn.
During that time, the Black Americans felt discriminated and stigmatized by their White counterparts (Schierup, Ålund & Kings, 2014). There were extensive national demonstrations and rebellions that lead to many deaths and affected the economy of the country. In the end, there were massive reforms that created a framework for equity and fairness in society. A society with high levels of discrimination is not a stable one since there are high probabilities of violence and civil wars.
Increased Rates of Crime and Social Vices
Racial discrimination causes many social vices. These vices include violence, increased criminal activities, drug abuse, and prostitution among others. When people are discriminated against in the job market, they are unable to find jobs and employment opportunities; they resort to other illegal activities as a means of livelihood (Nally, Lockwood, Ho, & Knutson, 2014). These activities may include armed robbery, theft, prostitution, and drug trafficking among others. Increased social vices pose a threat to the security and economy of any nation, which has emerged as a cause for concern (Nally et al., 2014).
Wage Discrimination Another form of discrimination that exists in the labor market of the United States concerns the wages. Women are paid less for doing the same job as that of a man (The Open University, 2018). Individuals having a similar task should be paid an equal amount. However, that seems not to be true in the labor market. It can act as a motivation to the employees. Paying some people less than what their counterparts earn takes away their morale. They do not feel motivated. The economists usually refer to it as wage discrimination. However, various countries have addressed the issue and tried to eliminate it. Various rules have been introduced including the legislation for equal pay (The Open University, 2018).
The Solutions to Racial Discrimination in the Job Market
The first and important step is to acknowledge that racial discrimination actually happens. Ignorance and assumption only make the social vice worse. There should be campaigns to create awareness of the levels of discrimination in the nation. Awareness and acceptance is the first stage of finding the solution to the discrimination in the job market. When people accept that the African Americans and the Latinos are facing discrimination in the job market, they can now discuss strategies to handle the discrimination. In addition, other sexual orientations involving Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) should be accepted to alleviate discrimination upon those employees in the workplace setting (Ozeren, 2014).
Therapy and Counseling
Discrimination can have a profound effect on the mental status of an individual. Discriminated individuals should seek professional counseling and stress therapy through education/support programs (Jones et al., 2017). Discrimination may make an individual feel as if it is their fault that they are facing the discriminations. Such notions can lead to a feeling of stigma and even depression. Counseling can, therefore, help one to know that it is not their fault that they were discriminated against in a job application or subsequent shortlisting. Professional stress therapy can also tackle drug abuse and feelings of suicide that may be a result of continuous and systematic discriminations.
A solution to racial discrimination is taking appropriate action. Keeping silent about discrimination will make the perpetrators continue engaging in it. When one individual is discriminated, they should take the necessary steps such as filing a court case or confronting the employers who engaged in the discrimination. When minority communities rise up against discrimination, they will be able to lower the rates of discrimination in the country.
Different Views and Analysis of Discrimination in America
The paper supports the fact that there is racial discrimination in the American job market. African Americans and Latinos generally have lower employment rates and wages as compared to the Whites. Employers are therefore more willing to employ a White than an African American. In the higher skill employment fields, there is a lower gap between the Whites and the Blacks. More Black Americans are unemployed and underemployed as compared to the White population.
Racial Discrimination is also evident in the job resumes that applicants send to employers when applying for different job positions. Resumes may provide some indications of the race and ethnic backgrounds of the applicants. Employers in the United State respond more to the resumes of the White applicants. A resume showing a Black American or Latino background will have very low chances of receiving a response. Such tendencies show that employers generally prefer to employ the White workers to Blacks, Latinos, or Asian workers (Kang, DeCelles, and Tilcsik & June 2016).
America also experiences gender bias and discrimination in the labor market. There are higher employment rates for men than for women. Women also receive lower pays for the same job as compared to the men. Employers always feel that women are less committed to carriers and are less productive as compared to the men. They will, therefore, prefer to hire men than women. There have been great advances in advocating for the rights of women. There, however, remains a great difference in the labor market in the employment rates and wages between men and women (Azmat & Petrongolo, 2014).
Generally, the Whites have a higher employment rate than the Non-whites in America. Women also have a lower employment rate and wages than men. However, the Latinos have better chances of getting employment than the African Americans. In addition, there are more White workers in permanent employment as compared to the Non-whites, most of who work part-time.
The Whites also receive higher salaries than their Non-white counterparts do. The African Americans are also more likely to leave a job as compared to the Whites. According to research, there is a widespread practice of employers discriminating against the racial minorities during the hiring process (Zschirnt & Ruedin, 2016).
Recommendations to Deal with Discrimination in the U.S.
Provision of Better Education Chances to Minority Communities
Education plays an important role in the labor market. Groups with the highest number of the skilled and qualified workforce will have higher employment rates and salaries. Most Latinos in America have low levels of education. They, therefore, stand lower chances of getting employment as compared to the White. The African Americans in poor and marginalized communities also have a limited access to educational opportunities. They will, therefore, be less likely to meet the requirement for many job applications.
Conducting Public Awareness Programs
Support programs aimed at sensitizing people on the dangers of racial discrimination are essential to address this workplace issue (Jones et al., 2017). The programs will dispel common myths and misconceptions that lead to lower employment for the Black Americans and other minority groups. Awareness programs should also target applicants who are discriminated. Such applicants should receive counseling and sensitization that it was not their fault that they were discriminated. Through awareness programs, such people will also know how to respond to discrimination.
The Blacklisting of Discriminative Employers
Another method that the government can use to deal with discriminative employers is blacklisting. When the government identifies an employer engaging in any form of discrimination, it should blacklist their companies and businesses. Such blacklisting would lead to a lower number of customers, investors, and a decline in the stock value of the business or company. Such measures will eventually discourage any employers from practicing racial, gender, age, or sexual discrimination.
Legislative measures refer to the formation of laws and policies that will discourage discrimination. Such laws should make discrimination illegal. Any employers who engage in discriminative employment will thus face legal actions (Ghumman, Ryan, Barclay, & Markel, 2013). The government can also develop policies ensuring that an employer hires workers from diverse cultural, religious, and social groups. Such laws should make it a requirement to hire a certain percentage of Whites, Latinos, Asians, and other minority communities.
Equity in Resource Distribution
Equity in resource distribution is a way of reducing discrimination in the job market. Equity means that all diverse groups in a nation receive enough resources to sustain them. The resources may be in the form of infrastructural development or opportunities such as education. When the minority groups have access to national resources, they will be able to empower themselves. Infrastructural developments also increase the rates of education among the minority groups. Education increases the employment chances of an individual. Currently, there is a wide black-white wage difference where the Whites receive higher wages than the African Americans (Van Dijk, 2015).
In conclusion, there are high rates of racial discrimination in the United States. Discrimination is identifiable from the point where applicants send their resumes to potential applicants. There is a lower probability of employers calling back employees from minority communities. Discrimination has many negative effects on a nation. Such effects include emotional distress, economic inequality, political and social tension, and increased social problems. These social vices include crime, prostitution, and drug trafficking. Employees will be more likely to employ a White applicant as compared to a Black applicant or a Latino. Women also earn lower wages than their male counterparts do. There are generally lower rates of employment for women. The paper provides several recommendations to reduce discrimination in a country. These include public awareness, use of legislative measures, economic empowerment of minority groups and taking action against discriminative employers. Various types of discrimination may play an important part during recruiting of employees. From the Civil Rights movement, numerous social and legal reforms led to the incorporation of different races in various sectors. The reforms made it illegal to discriminate against an individual based on their race. Many laws and policies have been passed in an attempt to reduce the rates of racial discrimination in the workplace and in the hiring processes. Labor market discrimination can be solved in various ways. The government of American should ensure that citizens earn according to their experience and contribution as opposed to gender or race. Wage discrimination should be disregarded to allow women earn similar to men. It is true that there exist discrimination practices in the labor market. Various people are not employed because of their race or ethnic group. Besides, those who are employed receive less than their counterparts having the same academic qualifications do. There is a need to have the bias end because it affects the country’s economy. Just like any other country, the United States is also affected by discrimination that occurs in the labor market.
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