The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Study of Hiring:
Companies Favor White Ex-cons over Blacks without a Record

Feb 2, 2004

A sociology professor at Northwestern University recently performed an interesting experiment. The sociologist, Devah Pager, organized students to apply for jobs at 350 companies in the Milwaukee area. These were for low wage jobs as waiters, dishwashers, drivers and warehousemen that were listed in the newspaper. The black and white students were given similar job histories and demeanor.

White applicants who admitted having an 18-month criminal record were called back 17% of the time. Black applicants with no criminal record were called back only 14% of the time.

Yet, there are people today who claim there is no racist bias in hiring–or, what’s worse, people who claim that black workers get preferences!

This study shows similar result to a number of other studies, including ones carried out in Chicago and Boston.

Studies like these show why the black unemployment rate is twice that of the white unemployed: blacks face systemic racism on the part of employers. The capitalists, of course, profit mightily from this setup, which is why they maintain it.