From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Nothing says we live in two-tier America, better than a Unemployment Chart that has 2 or 3 different tracks.
Notice the far left edge of the Chart. Even in "boom times," the built-in stratification of who gets hired and who does not, has some double-wide disparities to it.
Sometimes "some opportunities" are just not as equal as others.
And if those built-in disparities wasn't bad enough for you, just take a few moments and read the "official" fine print, where they BLS tell another disturbing story -- the one of Wage Disparity, by race and by gender:
Blacks in the Labor Force at a Glance
Bureau of Labor Statistics
In 2011, about half of Blacks aged 16 and older had a job, and 18.0 percent of those employed worked part-time. Blacks are the only racial or ethnic group for whom women represent a larger share of the employed than do men -- more than half (53.8 percent) of employed Blacks in 2011 were women, compared to 46.0 percent among employed Whites. Nonetheless, employed black women still earn less than employed black men -- black women earn roughly $0.91 to every dollar earned by black men. While the wage gap among Blacks is smaller than that for Whites, this is largely driven by the fact that African-American men face lower wages compared to men in other race groups in the economy. Black men employed full time earned on average $653 per week in 2011, 76.3 percent of the average salary earned by white men. By contrast, black women earn on average $595 per week or 84.6 percent of the average salary earned by white women. While the gap between black and white men fell substantially during the 1990s due to increased occupational desegregation, in the last few years the gap in earnings remained stable throughout the recent recession and recovery period.
More than a quarter of employed black workers aged 25 or older have earned a college degree, a share that exceeds that for Hispanics but continues to trail that for Whites. While black workers continue to trail Whites in educational attainment, the number of African Americans with a college degree has been growing faster. In the past decade, the number of black workers with a college degree has increased by over a quarter, compared to a fifth among White workers.
The next time Supreme Court tries to tell us we now live in a "post-racial society" -- perhaps they should check with the Bureau of Labor Statistics first, before they insist we now live in a land with "equal opportunity" for all. Or perhaps put a footnote on their claims, to document the act that those "equal opportunity" they're talking about, have nothing to do with
having equal wages, or equal employment rates.
Unless they mean to say, that some people have more opportunity to be unemployed (and underpaid) than others, despite their improving education trends to the contrary.