America’s highest-paying jobs have the worst Black-white salary gaps

Structural racism is evident everywhere in America, but especially in the makeup of the country’s highest-paying professions. From law to finance to software development, data show wide gaps between white and Black workers, not only on salary but in racial representation within each field.

There are some jobs in which Black workers earn more. They happen to be in professions that pay poorly and offer few benefits. Consider Black maids and housekeepers. They make more than $1.20 for every $1 earned by whites in the same occupation. But the average pay for this line of work is only $18,800 a year.

We looked at the pay gap between Black and white workers in 74 occupations that had at least 50,000 Black workers. The data come from salary information collected for the US Census’s American Community Survey from 2014 to 2018.

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