People of color surge into majority of new hires in U.S. for the first time

The U.S. workforce has passed a milestone: New hires of prime working-age people are now majority people of color. And women workers are a key to that trend. (Donald Trump just shuddered twice and he doesn’t know why.)

“Minority women began to pour into the labor market in 2015, and they have begun to reshape the demographics of the U.S. workforce, especially because many white baby boomers have been retiring,” The Washington Post reports. “There are 5.2 million more people in the United States with jobs than at the end of 2016, and 4.5 million of them are minorities, according to The Post’s analysis of Labor Department data.”

The Post suggests several reasons for the entry of women of color into the workforce: “a tight labor market that is forcing employers to look beyond their normal pool of candidates,” awfully polite phrasing for “some employers are super racist and sexist”;  changing cultural norms for some groups making it more acceptable or expected for women to work outside the home; Trump’s deportations that have left some women without their husbands’ incomes; and of course the growing need for two incomes to support families in a U.S. economy characterized by wage stagnation and economic insecurity.

The rise of women of color as new hires is one more advance that may be partially undone if the economy slows, with employers going back to their comfort zone. But in the long term, this is the future, no matter how desperately Trump tries to claw it back.

This article was originally published at Daily Kos on September 10, 2019. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson is a Daily Kos contributor editor since December 2006. Full-time staff since 2011, currently assistant managing editor.. Laura at Daily Kos
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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.