×

This chart helps explain at least one reason CEOs can't tolerate racism and support diversity

  • The diversity of employed Americans has shifted in the last 40 years.
  • African-American and Hispanic workers have gone from 6 percent of employed Americans to 29 percent.
Commuters in a subway station in New York.
Getty Images
Commuters in a subway station in New York.

Every CEO who left President Donald Trump's strategy and manufacturing councils may have done so for strictly moral reasons.

But it also made good business sense, perhaps as much because of concern about their consumer as concern about their workforce. The U.S., enjoying record low unemployment and tight labor markets, has been growing more diverse in its population and more diverse in its workforce.

Forty years ago, just 6 percent of employed Americans were African-American and Hispanic. Today it's right around 29 percent. That could be a reason why so many CEOs, in exiting the councils, emphasized their commitment to diversity in their businesses — the pool of workers is increasingly nonwhite.

Looking strictly at unemployment rates, there is no evidence that whites have suffered as a result of the growth of Hispanics and African-Americans in the workforce. The white unemployment rate is at a 10-year low, and remains substantially below the level for nonwhites.

The gap between white and nonwhite unemployment is about the same as it was a decade ago, when the job market last boomed.