Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2008


  • In 2008, about 90 percent of blacks and Asians (25 years of age and older) in the labor force had received at least a high school diploma, the same proportion as whites. In contrast, about 68 percent of Hispanics had completed high school. Asians were most likely to have graduated from college; fifty-eight percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 34 percent of whites, 24 percent of blacks, and 16 percent of Hispanics. Although blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites and Asians to have obtained a college degree, the proportion of college graduates for all groups has increased over time. (See table 4.)
  • For all groups, higher levels of education are associated with a greater likelihood of being employed and a lower likelihood of being unemployed. Individuals with higher levels of education generally have better access to higher paying jobs—such as those in management, professional, and related occupations—than individuals with less education. Nonetheless, at nearly every level of education, blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be unemployed in 2008 than Asians or whites.


Last Modified Date: December 4, 2009