Discrimination against Black job applicants in New Jersey is a reality, according to a new study. While many Black job applicants feel like they don’t get called back because of their race, proving that discrimination took place can be difficult. That’s because it’s rare for a racist employer to actually come out and tell you why you’re not being hired.

Researchers prove discrimination using “Black” names

The National Bureau of Economic Research conducted a discrimination study in which they sent 84,000 fake employment applications to 108 different companies. All of the applications were for entry-level job positions, and all of the “applicants” had identical education levels and job experience.

The only differences that could be noted between the fake applicants were the names listed on their applications. Some applications had names that are commonly associated with Black people and some did not. For example, half of the applications had names like Jamal and Leticia while the other half had names like Greg or Emily.

Applications that were considered “Black” for the study were 10% less likely to receive a call back than the other applications. Since the study included male and female names, researchers also looked at gender discrimination. However, the companies, on average, did not seem to discriminate based on the gender of names.

Some companies are much worse than others

Researchers found that certain companies that were included in the study accounted for most of the discrimination. According to one of the study authors, just 20% of the companies explained 50% of the discrimination. Certain bad apples in the study were also found to have high rates of gender discrimination.

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