Wage Disparities by Ethnicity and Education

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newsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics released some interesting wage data for the second quarter of 2011. The results feature some unsettling disparities.

For the 100.6  million full-time wage and salary workers in the U.S.,  the median wage amounted to ($753). Further demographic breakdown, by ethnicity and education, are featured below on the graph.

In terms of ethnicity, Asians appeared to be top earners, with median weekly earnings at ($872). Median weekly earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($565) were lower than the median weekly earnings of blacks ($623) and whites ($770), the B.L.S. confirmed.

Education played a substantial role in average weekly earnings as well, as high school graduates ($643) and individuals with no high school diploma ($458) made far less money than  individuals with an associate degree ($743) or a bachelor’s degree ($1,043).

Overall, the data portrays some alarming figures, especially the lower earning echelons. Looking at the average weekly earnings by ethnicity, perhaps the breakdown is as much a reflection of the unrelenting pressure of the recession, as it is a statement on the varying degrees of social and economic opportunities available here in our nation.

The schooling data has less surprises. A familiar adage comes to mind when observing the educational demographics – more education equals more wealth. This explanation supports the notion that potential earning increases exponentially as greater learning and networking opportunities become available.

Read more news in Labor Statistics

Marie is a writer for Recruiter.com covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.