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Rising Wages for African-Americans - 11/7/16

The earnings of African Americans have begun to accelerate sharply in recent months.  According to recently released data from the U.S. Labor Department, median weekly earnings for full-time African American workers rose by nine point eight percent during the third quarter from a year earlier, the fastest rate of growth on records dating back to two thousand. 

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the recent gains mean that the increases in earnings since the end of the recession more than seven years is now outpacing the gains for whites, sixteen percent to thirteen percent.  Latinos have experienced wage gains similar to those of African Americans. 

The bulk of the improvement for African Americans and Latinos has occurred over the past two years.  That’s not to suggest that the wage gap isn’t still a large one.  Median weekly pay for African Americans during the third quarter of twenty sixteen was six hundred and eight five dollars.  That compares to more than eight hundred and fifty dollars for whites. 

Median weakly pay for Latinos stands at six hundred and thirty two dollars.  Recent wages gains are attributable to a number of factors, including lower unemployment, minimum wage increases and increases in entry level wages among a number of very large employers.   

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.