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GenForward Poll: Young African-Americans More Likely to Experience Work-Related Discrimination

black-man-at-work-1A new GenForward poll examining young adult attitudes toward the U.S. economy and 2016 presidential election uncovered what most African-Americans already knew — Black young adults are more likely to experience race discrimination on the job or while looking for a job.

According to the poll, conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 48 percent of Black adults aged 18-30 said they experienced discrimination while seeking employment or at their place of employment. African-Americans also reported the highest rates of work-related discrimination, compared to about one-third of Asian-Americans (30 percent) and Latinos (31 percent).

In contrast, just 10 percent of white respondents reported experiencing workplace discrimination.

“I can get called in for an interview, and everything will be perfect but as soon as they see me, I can see it in their face: ‘Oh, no, she isn’t who I thought she was,’ ” 24-year old Joy Holloway, who is bi-racial, told the Associated Press. “And then I never get a call back.”

The GenForward Poll is the first of its kind to hone in on the voices of young adults of color, AP reports. The survey’s website attributes the absence of young Black and Latino voices in public opinion polls to a need for its in-depth surveys.

“…While much of the news over the past year has focused on negative interactions between the police and young Black Americans, few news outlets have taken the initiative to survey young people, especially Black and Latino young people,” the website states. “The absence of polling among these constituencies is a signal that we do not take seriously their standing as young citizens and critical members of our political community.”

In addition to employment-related discrimination, a majority of African-Americans said that being Black has made it harder for them to succeed economically. Thirty-nine percent of Asian-Americans and 34 percent of Latinos expressed similar sentiments, according to the survey taken between Sept. 1-14.

Surprisingly, the majorities of all millennials polled — including whites — agreed that white Americans have a large advantage when it comes to getting ahead economically. However, the magnitude of said advantage differed from one white person to the next.

“These data provide an extensive look at the differences among young adults across race and ethnicity in the belief about the importance of race in structuring economic opportunity and advantage,” the study states. “All told, they show that young adults of color — African-Americans especially — report experiencing more discrimination and perceive their race as making it more difficult for them to succeed economically.”

The GenForward poll’s other key findings included:

  • 31 percent of young women from all racial backgrounds reported experiencing gender discrimination while looking for a job and/or in the workplace itself.
  • 57 percent of African-Americans felt vulnerable in terms of their finances and economic security compared to white Americans.
  • 55 percent of Black millennials said they’re voting for Hillary Clinton this November.
  • The top three issues for the next president to address (among young voters of all racial backgrounds) include student debt, wages and income inequality.


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