While pay gaps between gender, race and blue-collar workers versus white-collar workers have always been a hot-button issue no matter what industry you may work in -- news of them widening over the past two decades between college graduates may come as a shock given the strong U.S. economy.
According to a new report released by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, while newly minted graduates are entering one of the best job markets in recent times, wages aren't being spread equally.
According to the labor-focused think tank, wages between black college graduates and white graduates ages 21 to 24, who have a four-year degree, have actually widened over the past two decades.
Its data found that in 2019, young white college graduates were making $2.51 more per hour than young black college graduates, which translates to about $5,200 a year for a full-time worker.
"The average hourly wage of black college graduates bottomed out in 2014 at $15.84 per hour and has only recently edged up to $18.07 in 2019," EPI found.
The rather lackluster increase was similar to that for female graduates, according to the report.
The study found that young women with a college degree currently have average hourly wages of $19.20 in 2019, just above their 2000 wage of $18.68.
Young men's wages rose significantly, from $20.91 to $22.04, an increase of just over 5 percent.
"These different trends have meant that the gender wage gap for young college graduates has grown over the last 19 years from 10.7 percent to 12.9 percent," EPI said. "The current gap of $2.84 per hour is not only statistically significant but also of practical significance — it translates into about $5,900 per year for a full-time worker, a large and economically meaningful difference."