Bermuda’s Income Disparity
While recently flipping through the pages of the National Economic Report of Bermuda (2007), there were a few statistics that caught my eye. Among them were these figures, based on 2006 data:
- Average Salary in Bermuda = $59,394 (N=30,210 employees)
- Average Salary for Blacks = $49,245 (N=16,420)
- Average Salary for Whites = $78,385 (N=10,071)
- Average Salary for Other Races = $52,775 (N=3719)
Of course, whenever I come across statistics I am a bit skeptical and try to keep a bit of perspective, but you have to admit that this is a pretty disturbing disparity of income. But, looking at the figures, a few things do come to mind. One is whether, within that number for whites, white expatriate employees are included because it is not uncommon for them to yield high salaries in certain job categories, particularly, in the international business sector, where the overseas recruitment of qualified staff is often necessary. If fewer Bermudians, black or white, are occupying those jobs – often high-paying – and assuming (just assuming!) those who are recruited happen to be predominantly white, then this might partially explain the disparity. This would suggest we need to work on having a better educated and qualified Bermudian workforce.
However, it is also hard to ignore the racial implications of this – especially when, according to this data, blacks represent 54.4% of the working population and whites, 33.3%. It is all the more reason for Bermudians to stop bickering and to get busy working together to appropriately and effectively address race relations and the education system.