Since the economic recession ended in mid-2009, the median usual weekly earnings for full-time black workers rose by 15.7%, and the median usual weekly earnings for full-time Latino workers rose by 15.5%. Both of these rates outpace the 13.3% wage growth for white workers over the same period.
Much of this growth has occurred over the past two years. Black workers’ earnings have increased 9.8% YOY in the third quarter, the fastest growth on record since 2000.
The data is consistent with the argument put forth by some economists that wage gains for minority groups tend to be most pronounced when the economy is near full employment. The unemployment rate, 5% last month, has held near that historically low mark for the past year.However, the median weekly pay gap between white workers and black and Latino workers is still over $200 wide. Median weekly pay for white workers was $829 this quarter, while the median weekly pay for black workers was $624, and the median weekly pay for Latino workers was $602.