Racial gap?

OECD Observer

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Balancing globalisation is not just about narrowing the gap between countries as winners and losers, but also how the gains and costs of globalisation are distributed within each country. The trouble is, though migration may increase interaction between ethnic groups, racial inequality still persists in the workplace, as an October 2005 report by the Canadian Labour Congress shows.

As a group, Canadian-born whites earn CA$4,936 more on average than foreign-born visible minorities. A lack of Canadian work experience, cultural adjustments and language barriers may be contributing factors, but then again, foreign-born whites earn most of all! Also, Canadian-born visible minorities, who according to the report are the highest-educated group of Canadians aged 25 to 44, earn $8,158 less than Canadian whites.

Meanwhile, the Canadian report seems to echo a study in the UK which found that while 21% of blacks and Asians have degrees compared to whites at 15%, their unemployment rate had increased by 2% since 1990. Moreover, minorities were twice as likely as whites to be working in the low-wage hotel and restaurant sector. Globalisation has ushered in an era of mutually beneficial interactions between different countries. Now it must work on removing ethnocentric “glass-ceilings” within countries too.

©OECD Observer No 255, May 2006

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