CICD Working Paper 2017-01

Dissimilarity on the Career Path: The Occupational Structure of the American Indian/Alaska Native Workforce

Jacob Wise | University of Minnesota
Carolyn A. Liebler | University of Minnesota
Richard M. Todd | Vice President and Advisor to the CICD

Published February 10, 2017

We analyze the occupational structure of the non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) workforce in the United States, relative to the non-Hispanic White workforce, using public-use census microdata. AIAN workers are generally overrepresented in low-skilled occupations and underrepresented in high-skilled occupations, relative to White workers. This pattern is stronger among men than among women and stronger among single-race AIANs than multiple-race AIANs. AIAN occupational dissimilarity does not appear to have declined substantially since 1980. Controlling for individual differences in factors such as education, age, location, and language proficiency accounts for a significant proportion of AIAN underrepresentation in high-education occupations.

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