A group of economists warned Tuesday that minorities are being left behind as wages increase across the country.
The economy has shown very positive signs as it slowly recovers from the last recession. Unemployment has declined and wages continue to climb. But in a call with reporters, the Economic Policy Institute noted that while wage growth has been particularly good for minorities, it hasn’t been enough for them to catch up with average incomes.
“We seen strong income growth over the last year for all groups,” EPI expert Valerie Wilson said. “In terms of the relative difference, those gaps have remained essentially unchanged over the past year. The medium African-American household earns about 59 cents for every dollar a white medium household [earns].”
Median household incomes increased by 5.2 percent last year and now sits at $56,516. Income growth among minorities has been positive as well but not enough for wages to catch up with everyone else. Wilson noted= lackluster growth among minorities is simply mirroring a historical trend.
African American households saw their earnings increase by 4.1 percent to $36,898 last year. Hispanics saw their incomes increase by 6.1 percent to $45,148 annually. White households, in contrasts, saw their income increase by 4.4 percent to $62,950.
EPI calculated its results based on information released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. It found income levels are almost where they were before the last recession. Woman are already at income levels relative to before the recession when adjusted for inflation.
The recession was sparked by the subprime mortgage crisis and the financial crisis of 2007. The economy has been recovering since but at a very modest pace. Wage growth is a positive sign, though, it still lags behind where it was before the recession.