Racial Disparity in the US Labor Market

The reasons offered by market-oriented and embeddedness perspectives for explaining the racial disparity in the U.S. labor market

The U.S. labor market has been characterized by an ever-increasing racial disparity when it comes to employment opportunities available for the population. There have been various market-oriented and embeddedness perspectives that have been advanced to explain the racial disparity that arises. The reasons are varied in nature and each offers its own basis. The U.S. is known as a country of diverse cultures and people from different backgrounds (Waldinger & Lichter 44).

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It is a reason that it is considered as a cultural pot where people from different cultures come together and interact in their day-to-day activities. Employment and labor opportunities are one such scenario that provides an opportunity for people from diverse racial groups to meet. This is not always the case as shortcomings can be seen when it comes to the labor workforce. This is whereby certain opportunities are left as a preserve for people of a particular racial identity leaving others out.

Based on market perspectives, the differences that result from employment outcomes are usually caused by disparities that arise from educational, experience backgrounds, and skills (Royster 12). Thus, the racial disparity would be seen in the labor market since individuals from such circumstances hold less power, and also their earnings are lower. They are regarded as unequal to white men bearing in mind these factors. Based on national studies, white male graduates earn much more than black male graduates even though all other relevant factors are constant. Therefore, racial discrimination can be said to be a factor causing such disparities (Royster 88).

For instance, another of the reasons to explain this disparity is that the target market would not be influenced by people from a particular racial identity. For instance, in the mass media, it is hard to find television presenters who are black. Many reasons advanced to explain this trend is traditionally views have been accustomed to white presenters

It has also been argued that many individuals from specific racial identities do not come from privileged backgrounds. This means that it would be hard for them to advance economically. It is therefore a reason that disparity may arise. Often, these are destined in their current economic status and growth becomes impossible (Vallas, Finlay, and Wharton 77). Royster is in agreement with this idea on the basis that the rate at which the black population is gaining economically is slow.

The working-class black men will not be able to achieve the same economically in comparison to their white peers. They may have the same educational background, but still, their skin color acts as a deterrent to their development (Royster 48).

Certain labor opportunities have also been left as a preserve of people from a specific racial origin. They are known as the niche and often based on research blacks have been found to fill up many of these positions. For instance, the hospital industry, furniture manufacturing and department stores have are comprised of mainly blacks. This can be compared to Royster’s belief that black populations are now traditionally known for certain careers (Royster 66).

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There are also contrasting reasons to explain this disparity. Embeddedness perspectives in sociology have been used to explain the societal and cultural effects that result from capitalist economies (Waldinger and Lichter 12). It is for this reason that the class theory evolved which detailed the effects that result from capitalism and how certain racial groups are exploited. This perspective seeks to explain why disparities exist in the U.S. labor market. In modern economies, exploitation does exist, but it is not encouraged. Thus, in contrast, this perspective seeks to forward an idea that may not apply in reality. For instance, there is the existence of labor unions that try to protect workers. With such unions in place, it is easier to avoid exploitation in labor (Vallas, Finlay, and Wharton 98).

The embeddedness perspective also tries to detail that there should be social co-operation to avoid any disparity within the economy. This is in contrast to the fact that there is a need for co-operation and such advances have not been met with any fruitful efforts (Waldinger and Lichter 52). In order for society to exist co-operation is present. Thus, it cannot be used as an explanation to explain the disparity. Furthermore, there has been a willingness by blacks to engage in employment opportunities. This can be seen in the fact that they engage in all activities necessary to attain such positions. Therefore, even with co-operation, disparities exist within the labor markets.

A prognosis on the future for impacted groups in the U.S. labor market

It can be predicted that this trend will continue to persist unless policies are put in place to control it. The disparities in labor have existed for a long time, and it has been hard to achieve any change. Even though blacks are able to acquire all the necessary skills and experience to work in a particular field, they continue to lose positions as preferences in given to white workers (Royster 24). Thus if employers are not influenced to change their policies, then it would become hard to achieve fairness and reduce or minimize these disparities. The socio-cultural differences have existed for a long time. This is attributed to the diversity and as a result, the disparities would tend to grow and persist in the future. In conclusion, such labor market patterns will be hard to evolve and change.

Works Cited

Royster, Deirdre. Race and the Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men From Blue Collar Jobs. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. Print.

Vallas, Steven P., W. Finlay and A. Wharton. The Sociology of Work : Structures and Inequalities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Waldinger, Roger and Michael I. Lichter. How The Other Half Works : Immigration and the Social Organization of Labor. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. Print.

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"Racial Disparity in the US Labor Market." StudyCorgi, 18 May 2021, studycorgi.com/racial-disparity-in-the-us-labor-market/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Racial Disparity in the US Labor Market." May 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/racial-disparity-in-the-us-labor-market/.


StudyCorgi. "Racial Disparity in the US Labor Market." May 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/racial-disparity-in-the-us-labor-market/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Racial Disparity in the US Labor Market." May 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/racial-disparity-in-the-us-labor-market/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Racial Disparity in the US Labor Market'. 18 May.

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