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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

April 2, 2005

Written by C.N.

Asian Women’s Job Earnings

The New York Times reports that according to Census Bureau data from 2003, among women with a Bachelor’s degree, Asian Americans have the highest median personal income at $43,700. They are followed by Black women at $41,100, then Whites at $37,800, with Latinas close behind at $37,600. Among men with a college degree, Whites earned the most at $66,000 a year, followed by Asian Americans at $52,000, Hispanics at $49,000 and then Blacks at $45,000.

The data for Asian Americans having the highest median incomes among college-educated women isn’t that surprising, but I have to admit that Black women outearned White women was a little surprising (and also that White women barely earn more than Latinas). The article notes,

The bureau did not say why the differences [among women] exist. Economists and sociologists suggest several possible factors: the tendency of minority women, especially Blacks, to more often hold more than one job or work more than 40 hours a week, and the tendency of Black professional women who take time off to have a child to return to the work force sooner than others. . .

Workplace discrimination and the continuing difficulties of minorities to get into higher-paying management positions could help explain the disparities among men, experts say.

So here you have the age old question — is that glass half full or half empty? Relative to Whites as the reference group, for Asian American women, it seems to be half full while for Asian American men (and all men of color), it seems to be half empty.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Asian Women’s Job Earnings" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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