Black workers had long history with fed jobs before shutdown

DETROIT (AP) — The government shutdown left an especially painful toll for African-Americans who make up nearly 20 percent of the federal workforce and historically have been on the low end of the government pay scale.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management says African-Americans make up about 18 percent of the federal workforce of approximately 2.1 million employees.

Emory University professor Andra Gillespie says public-sector civil service jobs have been critical in the movement of many blacks into the middle class, but they typically come at lower wage scales.

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