Focus Policy Blog


The State of Job Diversity in the First Quarter of 2014

A new report published by the Professional Diversity Network examines the employment conditions for minority Americans across industry sectors, geographic locations, and education levels.  The Professional Diversity Network seeks to provide a source of information that helps employers evaluate their practices of hiring diverse employees and compare those practices on a national level.  Employment diversity is critical for employers to remain globally competitive.  The University of Illinois at Chicago Sociology Professor Cedric Herring indicates a direct correlation between a company’s level of revenue and its employment diversity.  Following are other key findings of the article:

  • Although there was a 1.99% increase in demand for diverse employment from April to May, there was virtually no increase in the demand for African-Americans, women and Hispanics
  • Although the national unemployment rate for African-Americans is 12.1%, 21.58% of Americans who are unemployed are African-American
  • African-Americans and Hispanics make up over 40% of unemployed workers in America
  • African-American full-time employment increased by 2.48% from February to March 2014
  • In the first quarter of 2014, only 9.2% of workers in the Financial Activities sector were African-American
  • During March 2014, 17.62% of workers in the Public Administration sector were African-American
  • Hispanics made up 10.46% the Information sector workforce in March 2014
  • 28.1% of the Construction sector workforce included Hispanics in March 2014

The report indicates that employers benefit from an increase in the diversity of their employees because of the specialized skills and viewpoints that diverse employees bring to the workforce.

Patrice Garnette, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, The George Washington University Law School