via Think Progress
African-American students need to complete two more levels of education to have the same probability of getting a job as their white peers, a new study by Young Invincibles finds.
The researchers looked at data mainly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census, isolating the effects of race and education on unemployment. They found that an African-American male with an associates degree has around the same chance of getting a job as a white male with just a high school diploma.
“At every level of education, race impacts a person’s chance of getting a job,” Tom Allison, a research manager and one of the study’s authors, told ThinkProgress.
The gap in employment chances between whites and African Americans leads to a huge gap in unemployment rates, even long after the recession. In May of this year, African-American millennials faced a 16.6 percent unemployment rate, compared to a 7.1 percent rate for whites of the same age range (18 to 34 years old).
The study attributes the employment gap mainly to hiring discrimination, high incarceration rates for black people, and African Americans’ lack of inherited wealth from past generations due to a long history of discrimination. Less inherited wealth results in low homeownership rates and high deficits among African Americans:
While a college-educated white American has an average net worth of $75,000, a college-educated black American has a net worth of less than $17,500.
But according to Rory O’Sullivan, Young Invincibles’ deputy director, there’s some good news.
According to the study, even though unemployment is higher among African Americans at every level of education, the added gains in income and employment opportunities gained from getting an additional degree is much greater for African Americans than whites.