Wage growth among African-American workers has taken a double hit since 1979 due to the growing black-white wage gap and overall wage stagnation, according to a new paper from the Economic Policy Institute.
The left-leaning think tank finds that median hourly wages for black workers “could be 87 percent higher in the absence of racial and class inequality.”
Researchers examined the 1979 to 2015 time period, during which “overall median wages did not track productivity growth and racial wage gaps did not close, but instead widened.”
“This kept wage growth for black workers much, much lower than it would have been otherwise,” the report adds.
New research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that African-American workers earn less than their white counterparts regardless of educational attainment. Progress Illinois looks at the report and gets reaction from the Chicago Urban League.
The CBPP report explored alternatives to the Fed’s current practices. The goal was to examine the proposals’ potential effectiveness in promoting full employment, particularly “the strong and sustained labor market conditions that boost living standards and career trajectories across the income distribution and contribute to broad prosperity,” the paper reads.
Carola Binder, assistant professor of economics at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and Alex Rodrigue, a Haverford College math and economics major, co-authored the CBPP report. They wrote about their research in an op-ed for the Huffington Post.
“The Fed’s monetary policy is not entirely to blame for the problems associated with labor market slack- weak demand, chronically low or negative inflation, slow growth, stagnating wages, and rising inequality – but it could be part of the solution,” the op-ed reads. “That will require more than just fine-tuning, however; it will require a new framework for monetary policy. We aspire for a future characterized by full employment: consistently strong labor market conditions that enable workers across the income distribution to bargain for higher wages.”