What Color is Your Paycheck?

August 28, 2001 Download PDF

Disparities in Annual Pay Between White and Minority Workers Living in Multnomah County

Executive Summary

If you live in Multnomah County, the color of your skin makes a noticeable difference in the size of your paycheck. White workers earn significantly more than workers of color, even among workers with similar levels of education, work experience, and English proficiency.

Data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey for 1996-98 shows that among workers living in Multnomah County:

While there is no simple solution to the earnings gap, tackling the issue will involve improving the educational system, addressing subtle forms of discrimination, and raising the wages of low-wage workers through increases in the minimum wage and unionization.