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In Brazil, Black Workers Earn 36% Less

For the original article in Portuguese on G1 click here.

A study released November 13 by the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (DIESSE) shows that a black worker is paid on average 36.1% less than a non-black worker, regardless of region or educational attainment (in Brazil). According to the study, the difference in salary and employment opportunities is even greater at the management level.

The research study, “Blacks in Metropolitan Job Markets,” was carried out in the metropolitan areas of Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, and São Paulo. The study highlights that the disparity between salaries of blacks and non-blacks is only slightly influenced by region, hours worked, or sector of the economy.

“Any way you look at it, blacks earn less than whites,” said economist Lucia Garcia, organizer of employment and unemployment research for DIESSE, in an interview with Globo News. “We have seen that progress in education has improved the education of the black population, but it hasn’t eliminated inequality. We see more inequality in higher education.”

Garcia shows that in metropolitan areas, blacks account for 48.2% of the workforce, but receive on average 63.9% of the pay of non-blacks. Among workers with college degrees, average pay is R$17.39 for blacks and R$29.03 for non-blacks (see table).

“The black worker encounters difficulty throughout his or her professional life,” says Garcia, “From the moment of hiring, through the opportunities to advance in his or her career.” According to DIESSE research, in the São Paulo metropolitan region, 18.1% of non-black workers reach management level, compared with only 3.7% of blacks.

The study shows that blacks are still concentrated in occupations of lower prestige, such as bricklayers, servants, painters, manual laborers, janitors, trash collectors, and domestic workers.

DIESSE says that affirmative action policies such as university racial quotas help increase opportunities for black citizens’ work and study, but adds that to effectively serve this population, quotas should also be introduced in business.

PDF of the full study, in Portuguese.