The1 Race at Work

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Realities of

Race and Criminal Record

in the NYC Job Market

Schomburg Center

for Research in Black Culture

Langston Hughes Auditorium

Devah Pager

Bruce Western

Department of Sociology

Princeton University

This report was released as part of the NYC Commission on Human Rights conference Race At Work Realities of Race and Criminal Record in the NYC Job Market held on December 9, 2005 at the Schomburg

Center for Research in Black Culture. Conference and publication supported by the JEHT Foundation.



young men (called testers)

Realities of Race and Criminal Record

in the NYC Job Market

in entry-level jobs. In some

to apply for 1470 real entry-

conditions, testers presented

level jobs throughout New

additional evidence of a felony

York City over ten months



in 2004. The testers were


well-spoken young men, aged

acial progress since

Contemporary forms of

22 to 26; most were college-

the 1960s has led some

discrimination are often subtle

educated, between 5 feet 10

researchers and policy makers

and covert, making it difficult

inches and 6 feet in height,

to proclaim the problem of

for the average observer to

recruited in and around New

Our first set of results come

discrimination solved. Despite

recognize their effects. In the

York City. They were chosen

from the three-person team

low rates of employment

present study, we adopt an

on the basis of their similar

in which a white, Hispanic,

among blacks compared to

experimental audit approach

verbal skills, interactional styles

and black tester applied to

whites, many people are now

to more explicitly identify

and physical attractiveness.

the same set of employers

skeptical that discrimination

patterns of discrimination in

Additionally, testers went

presenting identical

remains a significant cause

the low-wage labor...