The Racial Gap in Weekly Earnings

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that the median weekly earnings of the nation’s 121.5 million full-time wage and salary workers were $1,100 in the second quarter of 2023. But there is a persisting racial gap in earnings.

African Americans had median weekly earnings of $913. For non-Hispanic Whites, median weekly earnings were $1,126. Thus, Black earnings were 81 percent of their White peers.

Median weekly earnings for Black men were $975, or 81.2 percent of the median earnings for White men that stood at $1,201. Black women’s median earnings were $877, or 86.3 percent of the $1,016 median earnings of White women.

For Blacks ages 16 to 24, the median earnings were 93 percent of the median earnings for Whites in that age group. But for Blacks in the 25 to 54 age group, median earnings were only 80 percent of their White peers in that age group.

Note: The racial gap in earnings is narrower than the racial gap in income. This is due to the fact that Whites receive a far greater amount of income from sources such as interest and dividends, rental income, pensions, veterans’ benefits, royalties, trust payments etc.

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