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Detroit area Black, Latino workers lag in access to quality jobs, report says. Drazen_/Gettyimages

Black and Latino workers in southeast Michigan, particularly those residing in Detroit, have less access to the fastest-growing, well-paying occupations in the area, according to a study issued on Monday by Detroit Future City.

The report from the nonprofit organization, "Growth Occupations: Opportunities for more equitable participation in Detroit's Growing Economy," claims that institutional racism and hiring discrimination, in addition to the need for skills training, are the main causes of this discrepancy. The American Community Survey was analyzed by the Center for Equity, Engagement, and Research at Detroit Future City in collaboration with Brookings Metro.

In the region, 16% of Black workers and 26% of White workers are in growing occupations, says the report. 107 positions in three major fields which includes management, business, finance, healthcare, and computer industries, as well as engineering and science, are among these jobs. As of 2019, salaries for these jobs would be regarded as middle-class if they were at least $25 per hour, The Detroit News reported.

"Across the board there are barriers and that's what we're really trying to communicate here, is that there are systemic barriers that are keeping some Detroiters from seeking and obtaining some of the highest growth sector jobs in the region," said Anika Goss, CEO of Detroit Future City.

"Until we can address what those barriers are and how we can actually reduce those barriers so that hiring is more inclusive, we will continue to see some of these inequities that we laid out in the report," Goss added.

It was revealed by academic research that when it comes to hiring practices, Black workers have greater difficulties than their White counterparts in getting callbacks, interviews, and job offers, the report notes.

In comparison to their counterparts in the area, Black and Latino workers in Detroit were shown to have a lower likelihood of being employed in a growing industry, according to the study. Additionally, compared to White workers in Metro Detroit, Black workers are less likely to have a growth occupation at every education level.

For example, 12% of Black workers with some college education were employed in a growth occupation, while 20% of White workers with some college education and 16% of White workers with only a high school diploma were employed in a growth occupation.

The disparity was also present, albeit closer, among Blacks, Latinos, and Whites with a college degree or higher. The employment rate for both Blacks and Latinos was 32% compared to 37% for their White counterparts with a college degree or higher.

According to the research, the occupations where Black and Latino/Hispanic employees were least likely to be employed as of 2021 were software developers at 8%, nurse aestheticians at 7%, and construction managers at 6%. Employment as urban and regional planners was also at 6% and cost estimators were 4%.

The research touches on whether young people and working adults are informed of some of these employment prospects and how to access them, according to Ashley Williams Clark, vice president of Detroit Future City.

The report offers guidance to leaders, including policymakers and employers, to address this employment gap to impact the youth as well as adults currently employed.

Increased wraparound services, including worker access to childcare, affordable transit options, mental health support services, and a review of recruiting procedures to eliminate racial discrimination are among the recommendations made in the report.

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