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Minority Standings Mixed In Science, Technology Jobs

The number of Hispanics with jobs in science and technology has improved over the last 10 years, but African-Americans have progressed less, a non-profit group says.
The number of Hispanics with jobs in science and technology has improved over the last 10 years, but African-Americans have progressed less, a nonprofit commission said.

From 1994 to 2004, Hispanics made steady progress, accounting for 5.3 percent of workers with scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical jobs in 2004 from 3.7 percent 10 years earlier, a report released this week by the Commission on Professionals In Science and Technology said.

Hispanics had their largest share of jobs, 9 percent, in engineering and related technician occupations in 2004, and their smallest share, 3.1 percent, in natural sciences.

Blacks, on the other hand, held 6.2 percent of all STEM jobs in 2004, compared with about 5.5 percent in 1994, the Washington, D.C., commission said. More than a third of all African-American workers in science, technology, engineering and math are women. Blacks make up 10.7 percent of the entire U.S. workforce.

Asians, however, accounted for 11 percent of all STEM workers last year, despite representing only 4.3 percent of the entire U.S. labor force.

"The lack of significant progress by underrepresented minorities in STEM occupations does not necessarily mean that efforts to fix the problem have been in vain," Richard Ellis, co-principal investigator in the report, said in a statement. "But, it does show that there remains much room for improvement, and it underscores the need for full scale evaluations on efforts to date to increase minority participation in STEM occupations."

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