Research & Data Thursday, June 4, 2020

Workforce and Racial disparities across industries in the Charlotte Region

Socio-economic mobility efforts remain crucial across the nation. Racial equity and inclusiveness issues continue to drive conversations around the need for strategic diversity. Minorities and their families still encounter socioeconomic challenges that impede career growth, economic stability, and access to opportunities. A significant number of minorities stagnate at the lower level of the economic ladder due to low-paying jobs and a lack of educational resources. The following report details racial disparities among the workforce in various industries in the Charlotte Region.

The overall workforce in the Charlotte Region mirrors overall demographics, about 65 percent white, non-Hispanic, 23 percent Black/African-American, 7 percent Hispanic of any race, 3.5 percent Asian and less than 2 percent in other categories.

However, representation of minorities differs among industries.

For example, while African American workers make up 23 percent of the overall workforce, they account for more than 35 percent of the workforce in Administrative Support and Waste Management, and Warehouse and Transportation, as well as nearly 30 percent of jobs in Health Care and Social Assistance and Accommodations and Food Services. Jobs in these sectors tend to be lower-paying and include few benefits. Even within the Health Care and Social Assistance Industry, for example, which includes many high-paying jobs, African-American workers earn on average less than $31,000, while wages for Asians workers average more than $100,000, this implies that Black or African-American workers are likely to be in lower-paid positions such as assistantships and aide roles. The Home Health Care sub-industry, for example, includes a nearly 40 percent African-American workforce and Nursing Care Facilities workforce is nearly 50 percent Black or African-American.

On the other hand, African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the Professional Services workforce and less than 10 percent of the Construction workforce. The Retail and Public Administration workforce are most representative of the overall workforce, with each industry employing about 23 percent of the workforce.

Hispanic workers are most overrepresented in the Agriculture, Construction and Accommodation and Food Services and Administrative Support and Waste Management industries, where they make up more than 10 percent of the workforce, and the Manufacturing industry, where they make up 8 percent of the workforce.

Hispanics and Latinos are most underrepresented in Public Administration, Educational Services, Health Care, Financial Services and Professional Services industries, all of which include less than 5 percent Hispanic workforces.

Asian workers in the Charlotte Region show higher representation in the Professional Services, Financial Services and Accommodations and Food Services workforce. While Asians account for 3.5 percent of the total workforce, they account for more than 5 percent of the workforce in each of these industries.

Asians are most underrepresented in Public Administration, Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, Educational Services and Construction, where they make up less than 2 percent of the workforce.

White, non-Hispanic workers in the Charlotte Region are most concentrated in the Wholesale Trade, Arts and Entertainment, Construction, Education, Professional Services, Public Administration, Financial Services and Manufacturing Industries.

The Administrative Support and Waste Management industry is the only industry with fewer than half of its workforce made up of white workers. Warehousing and Transportation and Accommodations and Food Services also include fewer than 60 percent a white workforce.

Posted by: Akofa Dossou, Director, Economic Research @ 12:00:00 am


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