It’s really easy to take one look at the above chart of data from the Commission for Unity and Racial Equality’s (CURE) Annual Review of the Workforce Survey 2006 (ARWS) and deduce that whites earn more than blacks, but does such a conclusion tell the whole story? In reality, the above chart may well be an accurate representation of white earnings vs black earnings, but what of Bermudian vs. non Bermudian and the impact of non-Bermudian demographics on the racial makeup of Bermuda’s workforce?
The first thing we can recognize as a discrepancy in the above chart is that the numbers of blacks, whites and mixed/other are not equal. In order to gain a better insight into the disparities by race we’d really need to see the data in terms of the percentage of each race in each earnings bracket.
Ok, so that’s a little better. We can now see the percentage breakdown of each race amongst each earnings bracket. What we can note is that nearly 68% of blacks were in the $24,000 to $59,999 bracket while whites were more evenly distributed. However, this still doesn’t consider the Bermudian vs. non-Bermudian factor, so lets take a look at that now, but rather than using hard numbers, lets again use percentages to give an equalized breakdown.
By this chart we can note how some 64% of Bermudians represent the $24,000 to $59,000 bracket while only 2% represent the $156,000+ bracket. Compare this to the non-Bermudians who 11% of whom make up the $96,000 to $155,999 bracket while another 10% make up the $156,000+ bracket. So we now can see how Bermudians compare to non-Bermudians.
Ok, so now we have an idea of the various earnings brackets of Bermudians by race which gives us a much better idea of what we’re dealing with. We can now note how white Bermudians have much higher representations in the upper brackets than black Bermudians do. Questions that arise from these revelations are what causes this disparity and how much of a factor do education level and employment level play in these numbers? On top of that, how do earnings in different industries and their subsequent racial representation skew the statistics?