During the past decade, the median earnings (in constant dollars) of white married men in blue-collar jobs (craftsmen and operatives) increased by 25 percent. This gain was about the same as that received by white married men in other occupations, but considerably less than the gain received by married men who were Negroes or members of other races, whose median earnings rose 60 percent overall and 42 percent for craftsmen and operatives. Most of the gains by white men employed as craftsmen and operatives were received since 1965.
In the North and West craftsmen and operatives who were white had about the same relative gains in median earnings during the decade as Negroes and other races. In the South, however, the earnings gap between the two groups was narrowed considerably. White married men in the South who were craftsmen and operatives had an average increase in median earnings of 28 percent between 1959 and 1969 whereas men in these occupational groups who were Negroes or members of other races had an average increase of 56 percent. Despite the change, however, white men who were craftsmen and operatives in the South averaged $7,100 In 1969 as compared wlth $4,800 for Negroes and other races.
In addition to the changes in earnings of married men, there were also significant changes in occupational distribution between 1960 and 1970. The number of white married men who were employed as craftsmen and operatives increased by 7 percent from 13.3 million to 14.3 million, whereas the number of Negroes and other races employed in this occupation rose by 46 percent from about 1.0 million to 1.4 million. The number of white men employed in professional and managerial jobs also rose sharply from 7.8 million to 11.4 million, a gain of 46 percent.
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