Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2008

Occupation and industry

  • Blacks and Hispanics are less likely to be in management, professional, and related occupations—the highest paying major job category—than whites and Asians. In 2008, half (50 percent) of Asian men worked in management, professional, and related occupations, compared with 34 percent of white men, 23 percent of black men, and 15 percent of Hispanic men. (See table 5.)
  • About 4 in 10 black men were employed in service jobs and sales and office jobs in 2008, while about 3 in 10 Hispanic, Asian, and white men were employed in the same occupations. Black men also were more likely than other men to work in production, transportation, and material moving occupations. In 2008, over one-half of Hispanic men were employed in two job groups—natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations and production, transportation, and material moving occupations.
  • Among women, in 2008, Asians were more likely than other groups to be employed in management, professional, and related jobs. About 46 percent of Asian women were employed in this occupation group, compared with about 41 percent of white women, 31 percent of black women, and 24 percent of Hispanic women. In contrast, 64 percent of Hispanic women worked in service jobs and in sales and office jobs, compared with about 60 percent of black women, 53 percent of white women, and 46 percent of Asian women.
  • Blacks made up 11 percent of all employed workers in 2008, but they accounted for about one-quarter or more of those in several specific occupations, including nursing aides (35 percent), security guards and bus drivers (about 30 percent each), and social workers (25 percent). Hispanics—who accounted for 14 percent of all workers—were substantially overrepresented in several job categories, including grounds maintenance workers (41 percent), maids and housekeeping cleaners (41 percent), and construction laborers (44 percent). Asians accounted for 5 percent of all employed workers but made up a much larger share of workers in several job categories, including computer software engineers (29 percent); physicians and surgeons (17 percent); and electrical, electronics, and electromechanical assemblers (18 percent). (See table 6.)
  • By industry, black workers were disproportionately represented, relative to other race and ethnicity groups, in education and health services, transportation and utilities, and public administration in 2008. Hispanic men were very heavily concentrated in construction (21 percent), as compared with white (14 percent), black (7 percent), and Asian (4 percent) men. Both Hispanic men and women were disproportionately employed in the leisure and hospitality sector. Asians were overrepresented in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in leisure and hospitality. (See table 7.)



 

Last Modified Date: December 4, 2009