From the Economic Policy Institute .
Fifteen months into a deep recession, college-educated white workers still had a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.8% in March of this year. The same could not be said for African Americans with four-year degrees. The March 2009 unemployment rate for college-educated blacks was 7.2%—almost twice as high as the white rate—and up 4.5 percentage points from March 2007, before the start of the current recession (see chart). Hispanics and Asian Americans with college degrees were in between, both with March 2009 unemployment rates of 5%.
There is something more going on here.
This issue is not solely about individuals getting an education, it is about race and prejudice. It is easy to assume that when the playing field is level then everyone has a fair shot, but the reality is the playing field is never level (at least not in this day and age). Individuals have preferences and “likeness” helps seekers secure jobs. Often it is hard to see the same core values if they are displayed in a way different than you display them (i.e. respect containing a verbal affirmation – a Euro-American/Western European value – compared to respect meaning quiet dedication – an east Asian value). When that happens candidates who are more than qualified don’t make the cut simply because many are not versed enough to see a skill presented in a way different that what is “normal”
I don’t think that this racial discrepancy is because anyone is overtly racist – though some people still are – but more because many white people tend to think of themselves as “color-blind” and thus ignore the bias that naturally comes with their culture and relationships. Racial prejudice often happens when we personally and socially shirk the responsibility of multiculturalism.