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Report: Workforce More Diverse, Challenges Are Bigger

California Budget & Policy Center
 

California Budget & Policy Center

A new report released over this Labor Day weekend finds that California's workforce looks a lot different from what it did a few decades ago.

The report says Latino and non-Latino workers of color accounted for more than half of California's labor force in 2014, up from less than one-third in 1984.

"At the same time, workers still face a number of big challenges," says Luke Reidenbach with the California Budget and Policy Center, the Sacramento-based think tank that released the report.

He says one of those challenges is wage disparity. While the median wage for white workers has gone up by nearly 14 percent since 1979, it's gone down by 5 percent for Latinos and about 3 percent for black workers.

"The reasons why workers of color face such persistent challenges are varied but the reality is that they do face challenges," says Reidenbach. "And because they represent such a large and growing share of our workforce we have to address the issues."

The report recommends increasing the minimum wage and passing stronger laws against discrimination in hiring.