Hispanic Employment in the Public Sector

Why Is It Lower Than Blacks’?
  • Cordelia Reimers
  • Howard Chernick
Part of the Environment, Development and Public Policy book series (EDPP)


Government jobs have traditionally been viewed as “good” ones—more secure and with better fringe benefits, if not better paid, than jobs in the private sector that require similar levels of skill. Thus, they are potentially an important avenue for the economic advancement of minorities. Moreover, public-sector opportunities have been enhanced by the rapid expansion in the absolute and in the relative size of the public sector since World War II. Growth in total employment has been particularly rapid at the state and local levels. Although this growth has slowed somewhat in recent years, the shift of resources toward the public sector suggests that public employment would have been an important source of new jobs for all groups, even if hiring, promotion, and compensation patterns by race and gender were the same in the public and in the private sectors. Previous research indicates, however, that governments have been more “open” to blacks and women than have private firms. These groups have a higher percentage employed in the public sector, and a higher percentage in public-sector professional and managerial occupations, than do white men; moreover, blacks and women earn more for given human capital characteristics in the public sector than they do in the private sector (Reimers, 1985; Smith, 1977).


Human Capital Public Sector Public Employment Veteran Status Hispanic Group 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cordelia Reimers
    • 1
  • Howard Chernick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsHunter College and the Graduate School of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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