Racial Wealth Gap Much Smaller Among Union Members

Wealth is very unevenly distributed by race and ethnicity and it will take big changes such as reinvigorating the labor movement to shrink this gap. African-Americans, for instance, have about one-tenth the wealth of whites. This massive inequality leaves larger shares of the African-American as well as Latinx and Asian-American populations worse prepared for retirement than is the case for whites.

Leveling the playing field, so that all have a shot at a decent retirement, regardless of their race and ethnicity, will require changing the rules of the game. This is especially true in the labor market. Having a well-paying, stable job with decent benefits is often a key step to building wealth. Good pay in a stable job makes it easier for people to qualify for a mortgage, for example, than would be the case with less pay or greater job insecurity. And decent retirement and health benefits through an employer allows people to put more money aside for the future.

This article was originally published in Forbes.