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The Nation

September 05, 1986

The wage gap between black and white men in the American labor market was narrowed between 1940 and 1980, but the impact of the civil rights movement on workers' pay cannot be quantified, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights said. The panel released a draft report showing that by 1980, the typical black male's pay was 68.9% of his white counterpart's, up from 41.5% in 1940. Besides a decline in hiring discrimination, the report cited factors such as educational gains and Southern blacks moving north to higher-paying industrial jobs.

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