Many white men say they feel threatened by the increasing presence and success of minorities in the workplace.

As social scientists, we wondered if there is any evidence to support this perceived economic threat, a perception that can provide fertile ground for current rounds of racist and xenophobic political messaging.

Our work at the Center for Employment Equity at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, involves using Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data to explore workplace discrimination and diversity in states and cities across the U.S. Our aim is to discover and promote more equitable workplaces.

In our most recent report, called “Race, States and the Mixed Fate of White Men,” we examined the connection between minority populations and the job prospects of white men in private sector companies.

White male privilege

Social scientists generally agree on three research findings about white men in the U.S. and the notion that they are losing their unearned but expected racial privileges.

First, white men at every education level are more likely than women and non-Asian minorities to get access to higher wage jobs.

Second, while wages of average working class people in the U.S. have stagnated in recent decades, and economic insecurity has grown, earnings for middle- and upper-class jobs – which are dominated by educated whites – have soared.

A third and more recent finding is that working class white men are the group that is most racially resentful and most opposed to further immigration. This finding is based on analyses of survey data of the whole U.S. population examining both voting behavior and attitudes towards blacks and immigrants, zeroing in on President Donald Trump’s core supporters and the content of his political messaging to them.

This resentment probably explains why working class whites, particularly men, are so receptive to President Trump’s anti-immigrant and racist messages – and why he targets them.

We suspected that the reception to racist and xenophobic messages might be a reflection of a growing competition between working class whites and minority men for increasingly insecure, low-wage jobs.

White men dominate the executive suite

In our study, we compared different racial groups’ share of specific occupations with their percentage of their state’s workforce. In other words, we wanted to see how over- or underrepresented white, black and Hispanic men were in various jobs.

In general, we found that while some white men are prospering in executive and managerial roles, there is another group of white men with very different employment experiences.

At the top end of the labor market, our data showed that in every state white men were overrepresented in executive and managerial jobs. But this white male privilege varied substantially by state. White men got even more of the top jobs in states with larger minority populations.

From The Conversation/fullstory

Posted by The non-Conformist