Cheryl Baxter, Head of Corporate Advocacy Programs, S&P Global
Felix Shariff, DEI and People Movement, Ratings Global Lead, S&P Global
Dr. Alain Biem, Chief Data Scientist, S&P Global Market Intelligence
Andrew Hamilton, Metro NYC Chapter President, NBMBAA
Published: November 15, 2021
S&P Global partnered with the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) to host a symposium focused on the future of work as it relates to new technologies and automation, and their effect on the Black community. The symposium assembled relevant thought leaders, experts, and stakeholders from various sectors to ideate actionable initiatives that corporations, grassroots organizations, and educational institutions can implement to support individuals in the Black community become more resilient to changes in the workplace.
The symposium was a response to McKinsey’s “The Future of Work in Black America” study, in which McKinsey projected that African Americans may suffer a 23.1% job displacement rate by 2030 due to the impacts of automation in the U.S.
This paper is based on the collective suggested initiatives from the symposium participants and other various resources. The paper outlines tactical, strategic, and structural initiatives for corporations, grassroots organizations, and educational institutions to help transition the Black workforce to more sustainable career paths amenable to continuous learning and an agile mindset1. The suggested initiatives are focused on high schoolers, college students, and early-career professionals.
The paper is focused on the Black community. The terms ‘Black’ and ‘African American’ are based on the United States Census grouping of racial categories , and are used interchangeably to reference individuals within the United States that self-identify as part of this racial group.
Private, public, and social sectors across the U.S. can help transition the Black community from jobs at risk of automation into advanced careers with intention. Accomplishing this across the U.S. requires a concerted effort from the private, public, and social sectors with a targeted focus on the younger generation of labor participants—to close historical inequities and solidify a stronger economy for the future of work.
Black Americans have long lagged their peers in other racial groups in transitioning into new jobs enabled by technological advances. The lower transition rate relative to white Americans is partially due to systemic racial barriers experienced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the form of societal norms and legislation—including housing discrimination[i], separate and unequal education[ii], and discriminatory lending practices.[iii], Consequently, such circumstances have contributed to compounding income and wealth disparities that continue today.
The lack of information dissemination, skill and education gaps, location constraints, and the underrepresentation of Black Americans in emerging job markets compounded the slower transition rates to new labor markets relative to whites. Specifically, word-of-mouth played an essential role in early 20th century labor markets, as many workers joining the workforce during that time were friends or relatives in similar occupations.[iv] Informal communication is still a resource for job applicants today, but now exists through more formalized referral programs that leave most Black Americans behind. Since Black Americans are underrepresented in growth roles, information about these jobs will seldom be disseminated through word-of-mouth or referral programs. In turn, referral programs may only exacerbate representation disparities.
Historically, discrimination rooted in legislation and societal biases has deprived Black Americans of a larger share of the labor force in underinvested rural and urban areas, limiting access to higher-wage occupations. [i],[v] For example, housing discrimination perpetuated the education gap between Black and white Americans because of methods used to allocate school funding, among other factors. Since nearly half of public-school funding is from property taxes, low-income and predominately Black neighborhoods have fewer resources to provide a standard education.[vi] Such economic discrimination practices are still prevalent today.
Now, the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to racial injustice in the U.S. have increased awareness of the economic implications of systemic racism. Black Americans have suffered greater job losses than their white counterparts amid government-ordered shutdowns, and owned a higher rate of businesses that permanently closed or were unable to access business support programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).[vii]  The COVID-19 crisis has also shone a spotlight on Black Americans’ disparities in accessing essential digital services, including computing devices and basic internet connections, relative to white Americans’.[viii] These inequities can hinder Black workers from accessing educational advancement and seeking advanced job prospects.
Corporations, grassroots organizations, and educational institutions have begun designing specific initiatives focused on increasing Black Americans’ access to opportunity and advanced job prospects, alongside raising awareness of skill gaps. IBM’s New Collar initiative focuses on improving access to opportunities for people who come from non-traditional technology backgrounds.[ix] The New Collar initiative gives early-stage career individuals an opportunity to reskill and enter the tech industry. Educational institutions like Tuskegee University—a historically black college & university (HBCU)—added a cybersecurity-focused computer engineering degree in 2018 to address the labor market needs in emerging technologies.[x] Grassroots organizations like Black Girls Code and The Hidden Genius Project have provided accelerated technology training to high school students in underfunded and underserved areas.
But more action is needed. Today’s leaders have an opportunity to enable a generation of diverse technological trailblazers. Leveraging and upskilling high school, college, and early-career professional Black Americans in automation technology programs and initiatives can better prepare the U.S. economy for the future while closing income gaps and increasing lifetime incomes for the Black community.[xi]
In the past, Black Americans’ transition to higher wage opportunities was primarily due to labor market pressures and legislation restricting companies’ ability to discriminate. At the beginning of the 20th century, more than half of the African American labor force was in the agricultural sector as laborers.[xii] However, World War I created a labor shortage in manufacturing that enabled Black Americans to occupy relatively high-wage roles that white Americans formerly occupied.[xiii] [xiv] After President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802, which banned discriminatory employment practices by federal agencies and all unions and companies engaged in war-related work,[xv] and the passing of the GI Bill,[xvi] many African American men again transitioned to manufacturing, transportation, and maintenance jobs by the end of the 1940s.[xvii] Throughout the 1950s, Black Americans began to achieve higher educational levels that allowed them to find employment in higher-wage jobs. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Notwithstanding the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the wage gap between Black and white Americans remains large and, in some instances, is increasing,[xviii] as seen in Figure 1. For example, between 1990 and 2015, the wage gap between Black men and white men has increased from 20% to 22.5%.
Figure 1: Adjusted average hourly wage gaps relative to white men by race and gender, 1979-2015
Note: The adjusted wage gaps are for full-time workers and control for racial differences in education, potential experience, region of residence, and metro status.
Source: Economic Policy Institute” Black-white wage gaps expand with rising wage inequality,” by V. R. Wilson, W. M. Rodger III, 2016, Economic Policy Institute. July 7, 2021, from https://www.epi.org/publication/black-white-wage-gaps-expand-with-rising-wage-inequality/. Copyright 2016 by Economic Policy Institute.
Economic theory would suggest that differences in productivity—output per unit of input—primarily drive wage disparities between groups of workers. In 2017, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco conducted a study to understand the Black-white wage gaps utilizing the main measurable drivers of productivity: state of residence, education, part-time work, industry/occupation, and age.[xix] Furthermore, the study found that the two major explainable factors contributing to differences in Black-white earnings are industry/occupation and education (see Figure 2). Understanding these factors help narrow the focus of initiatives needed to transition Black Americans to more sustainable career paths that require a continuous learning and agile mindset.
Figure 2: Components of the black-white earnings gap
Source: Economic Policy Institute “Disappointing Facts about the Black-White Wage Gap,” by M. C. Daly, B. Hobijn, J. H. Pedtke, 2017, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. July 7, 2021, from https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/el2017-26.pdf. Copyright 2017 by Economic Policy Institute.
Given the ever-changing U.S. racial demographics and economic pressures from environment, social, and governance (ESG) driven investors [xx] and , [xxi], [xxii] (see Figure 3), corporations will need to reevaluate commonplace hiring and promotion practices. For example, in 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) approved Nasdaq’s decision to require at least two diverse board members before taking a company public.[xxiii], [xxiv] More companies are evaluating ESG risk exposure by examining their social policies, which also impacts their ability to attract and retain a diverse workforce[xxv].
Figure 3: US race-ethnic profiles, 2018 and 2060
Source: Brookings Institution “The US will become ‘minority white’ in 2045, Census projects,” by W. H. Frey, 2018, Brookings. July 7, 2021, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2018/03/14/the-us-will-become-minority-white-in-2045-census-projects/. Copyright 2018 by Brookings Institution.
The increased value of human capital coupled with the need for diverse talent only creates a sense of urgency for corporations to change their hiring and development practices of diverse candidates. Beyond the compelling risk-management case for diversity within organizations, attracting and retaining top talent will become more complicated if an organization lacks a diverse workforce. The evolving sentiment towards diversity in the workplace will place a premium on initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion, especially as human capital becomes increasingly more valuable as an intangible asset.
Companies must find measurable solutions that address diversity disparities as workforce demographic disclosure pressures heighten. Government agencies, watchdog groups, and progressive companies are advocating for more visibility into firms’ workforce demographics at every level. The S.E.C. is currently evaluating diversity reporting requirements for public companies as part of a corporate workforce disclosure proposal.[xxvi] Foreseeing these changes, PwC announced its business strategy regarding ESG disclosures and committed $12 billion over five years to assist its clients with climate and diversity reporting. Unfortunately, firms reluctant to disclose detailed workforce demographics will likely be in a state of disarray as they reactively set up systems to address ESG disclosure requirements.
The Black community requires commitment from corporations, educational institutions, and grassroots organizations to successfully transition individuals into more sustainable jobs and careers. We identified initiatives grouped into three main themes that each ally can individually and collectively execute to transition the Black community to higher-wage jobs that provide career growth opportunities and are risk-averse to automation technology:
The suggested initiatives focus on high-schoolers, college students, and early-stage professionals. Each ally will need to evaluate their core strengths and partner with others, if needed, to implement the suggested initiatives. We hope the proposed initiatives spark innovative and effective partnerships that change a generation of future leaders.
A corporation’s future success is intertwined with a society’s equitable economic growth. Therefore, corporations have a vested interest in the Black community’s transition from occupations at risk to more sustainable career paths. The suggested initiatives focus on programs that corporations are well-equipped to execute on.
Career Roadmaps & Sponsors
The expression “you own your career” can be burdensome for many Black graduates who do not have a line of sight into the multi-faceted pathways one can choose within their choice of study. The limited pool of senior Black leaders and senior managers within firms’ functions make it harder to find and obtain insightful career advice. Notably, 41% of Black students are first-generation college graduates compared to 25% of white students. This points to the challenges Black Americans must overcome early in their careers. Conversely, graduates that have parents or relatives who understand the dynamics of managing a career in corporate America are themselves relatively better equipped to do so.
Corporations can actively find ways to bridge this gap through tailored career guidance programs, like career coaching, that empathize with the realities of most Black professionals. Chubb, a global property and casualty insurance company, developed an Associate Program for early career professionals. The program helps their associates develop the insurance expertise and technical understanding required to advance.[xxvii] These types of initiatives provide guidance and sponsorship from senior leadership in helping employees in their career development.
Rethinking the job criteria for roles has the potential to help mitigate disruption from automation for African Americans. Job descriptions can emphasize core skillsets that have potential use across different domains and can be adapted to varying job requirements. For example, IBM looks beyond a candidate’s education and reviews their experience in coding boot camps or industry-related courses to evaluate their full job potential.[xxviii] Corporations could apply similar methodologies for employees who will lose their jobs due to automation but possess the necessary skillsets to compete in the future marketplace.
Upskill and Reskill
At least 54% of all employees require reskilling and upskilling. [xxix] Unfortunately, Black professionals are typically disproportionately not selected to upskill or reskill through internal and external training initiatives in emerging occupations. Former Aetna CEO Ron Williams told the Wall Street Journal that “too many promotions in companies are informally decided before jobs are ever posted, leaving Black talent without the chance to compete.”[xxx] Selective development programs tend to amplify the disproportionate dissemination of growth opportunities for Black employees because of the subjectivity in the selection process.
By offering computer-based training modules, like S&P Global’s technology upskilling program[xxxi] and live courses, corporations can accelerate the learning curve for new hires and quickly introduce new concepts to their broader workforce. Additionally, Goldman Sachs’ Black Analyst and Associate Initiative provides career development coaches that work with participants and their managers to develop short and long-term career goals, consider mobility and networking opportunities, and discuss pathways to promotion. Programs like these can focus on developing a diverse talent pipeline for the firm and empower managers to develop and retain talent.
Investments in transition programs can create new job prospects for Black Americans at risk of automation disruption through establishing apprenticeship programs for new-to-industry applicants. In 2017, Accenture and Aon co-founded the Chicago Apprenticeship Network by partnering with local employers like McDonald’s, Zurich Insurance, and Walgreens to jumpstart their professional apprenticeship programs. The program provides apprentices with high-quality career paths while supplementing employers’ future workforce needs. Today, the program has more than 50 member organizations and has created more than 1000 apprenticeships.[xxxii] This is a powerful, low-cost way for corporations to help provide opportunities to Black communities and introduce them to new careers while increasing the supply of skilled workers.
Non-cash Referral Incentives
Many companies depend on cash referrals to assist with recruiting efforts. However, research has shown how emotions can play into desires for tangible alternatives to cash, implying that receiving a “gift” that participants would not necessarily purchase themselves created more excitement and enjoyment.[xxxiii] In 2015, the global mobile advertising and discovery platform InMobi used non-cash incentives to increase its applicant referral rate from 20% to 50% within a year.[xxxiv] Comparable programs could provide culturally relevant non-cash rewards. Overall, creating non-cash referral programs that motivate employees to refer capable African Americans could yield better results than cash-based programs.
Educational institutions are instrumental in the quest for economic mobility in the U.S. Given the critical role educational institutions have in developing individuals, these suggested initiatives are centered on improving the transition and upskilling of Black Americans exposed to automation disruption.
Access and Information Sharing
Educational institutions can address access and information gaps that some Black students encounter.[xxxv] Even if a student’s career and education aspirations are aligned, opportunities, available resources, and social landscape constraints can negatively influence those aspirations[xxxvi],[xxxvii],[xxxviii]. McKinsey’s The Future of Work in Black America study shows that African Americans have for over a decade continued to trend towards automation disruptive occupations, blindly putting themselves in economically high-risk occupations. Educational institutions could provide Black students with career roadmaps, career advisement and future job outlooks. This will allow the students to make better-informed decisions about their career choices. For example, Princeton University’s Preparatory Program (PUPP) partnered with six local high schools to help address the lack of access to resources and information that underrepresented students encounter.
Upskill and Reskill
Educational institutions are better positioned to upskill and reskill more individuals than any other organization and are essential in the skills transition for Black Americans vulnerable to automation disruption. To ensure financial support and sustainability, educational institutions and governments could create strategic alliances to incorporate in-demand curriculum to give individuals career-growth opportunities. For example, the Technical College System of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Education, the Technology Association of Georgia, and Amazon Web Services collaborated to provide cloud computing training and education to 5,500 learners statewide by 2024.[xxxix] Educational institutions could also work with accreditation agencies and industry practitioners to build curriculums that addresses the labor market skills gap while meeting agencies’ program criteria.
Applied Learning Ecosystem
Educational institutions could reconcile experience gaps by creating an applied learning ecosystem of skills-related projects sourced from various partnerships that complement students’ aspirations and recently acquired skillsets. Black students that acquire a new skill through educational institutions or other means may lack the hands-on experience to differentiate themselves from other candidates. To address this gap, educational institutions could present students with opportunities to build on a newly acquired skill through programs like Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s experiential learning opportunities that allow students to exercise their new skills while earning money or academic credit.[xl]
Black students that lack certain skillsets could benefit from increased access to elite programs with solid corporate partnerships and world-class teaching. Universities can partner with an established certification programs or create internal bridging programs focused on the skills and educational gaps of Black students while addressing the labor market skills shortage. For example, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business offers a certification program, Business Bridge, for top liberal arts and STEM undergraduates and recent graduates. Business Bridge provides a comprehensive business curriculum, a capstone team project, recruiting services, and one-on-one career guidance[xli].
Targeted Support Programs for Black Students
Educational institutions could invest in student-service programs tailored to improve Black students’ academic and graduation outcomes. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, the six-year graduation rate for white students is 25 percentage points higher than for Black students.[xlii] In 2003, the NCAA instituted the Academic Progress Rate to strengthen student-athletes academic performance[xliii] and graduation rates.[xliv] Schools invested in student-athlete service programs to meet the NCAA’s standards. With greater resources to improve student-athlete outcomes, Division I Black student-athletes graduate at higher rates than their Black peers in the student body.[xlv] Similarly, when the American Institute of CPAs updated the CPA exam in 2015 to focus on higher-order skills, Duquesne University required the accounting department to review and revise their curriculum to prepare their students for higher-order skills questions.[xlvi] These initiatives highlight how educational institutions can quickly mobilize and create targeted solutions to improve student outcomes.
Grassroots organizations are essential to creating solutions and connecting initiatives to their intended audience. Grassroots organizations are typically developed by local community members advocating for a solution to local challenges. Their ability to unite local citizens, corporations, and other institutions serve as a model for collaborative solution-based initiatives. As allies collectively embark on the journey to help transition those susceptible to automation technology disruption, grassroots organizations will play a pivotal role in this collaborative effort. The following are suggested grassroots organization initiatives that focus on how to leverage strategic partnerships and scale solutions.
Meet Partners Where They Are
Grassroots organizers understand the intricate needs of the communities they serve. Grassroots organizations could realign partner’s goals and expectations to achieve a more fruitful outcome. Consider how the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) created the Work Learn Earn online career exploration tool in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tennessee-based educational and government groups[xlvii]. The CAEL designed the tool to meet a community’s specific needs by localizing the area’s industry sectors, career opportunities, job descriptions and offerings, and education providers.[xlviii] They were able to infuse their insights into the solution while aligning their partners’ various objectives. Without the CAEL’s innovative approach and gaining support and commitment from their partners, a community would have lacked a pivotal tool to build a talent ecosystem.
Corporate social programs that are not focused in their giving make themselves susceptible to internal and external social and economic criticism.[xlix] Partners may not have the knowledge base to assess community needs and formulate an effective strategy. Grassroots organizations can educate their partners on how to best tailor strategies to maximize a program’s impact for targeted beneficiaries. For instance, grassroots organizations can be a unique asset to corporate partners by teaching partners how to be more effective with their giving enabling corporations to make more targeted and adequate contributions.
Establishing Accountable Alliances
As grassroots organizations participate in corporate partnership programs, it is imperative for them to be transparent about their intentions regarding relationships with partners and outcomes for the community. Setting clear expectations should extend beyond increases in funding and include expanding the organization’s volunteer base, facilitating new business partner connections, providing professional development for employees, and increasing brand recognition for the grassroots organization.
Grassroots organizations need to establish clear expectations that hold everyone accountable while fostering solid and long-standing alliances. Grassroots organizations could form alliances with corporations or educational institutions to develop agreeable metrics that hold all parties accountable. For example, the nonprofit Management Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) established the MLT Black Equity at Work certification to set a comprehensive Black equity standard. The certification provides a roadmap and scoring rubric that measures a company’s Black representation, compensation, inclusivity, racially-just business practices, and racial justice contributions and investments.[l] MLT’s approach with its partners could be a model for other grassroots organizations to establish partnerships that benefit all parties’ objectives.
A Summit to Scale
Technology-orientated grassroots organizations that provide fundamental training and exposure to technology skillsets create pathways to enhance their impact on marginalized communities. Exposure to technical career paths complemented with training can spark interest in technology-enabled skillsets that could supply the future labor market. Yet, grassroots organizations operate with limited resources and funds that throttles the speed and scalability of their initiatives. Through summits, conferences, and other means, grassroots organizations could expand their impact by networking and sharing lessons and resources. For example, a summit may spark a relationship between an organization that fosters the intellectual talent of minority youth with an organization that specializes in developing technological skills in underrepresented groups. One organization has the expertise in working with youth, while the other contributes its mastery of a specific skillset. Upskilling grassroots organizations like The Hidden Genius Project and BlackGirlsCode could conjointly create a synergistic partnership to scale their distinct objectives.
Grassroots organizations could address existing organizational gaps by recruiting executives or professionals from the private sector, such as finance leaders. Whether grassroots organizations provide volunteer hours or hire private-sector professionals, either may be effective depending on the need. For instance, it would be beneficial for a large organization that needs to strengthen its capital stewardship to enlist a chief financial officer (CFO) who has experience managing the finances of a sizable corporation. This strategy was employed successfully when Paul Henry, former vice president of U.S. Foods Holding Corps, moved to the non-profit sector in 2013 as the CFO of Feeding America.[li] Since joining Feeding America, Mr. Henry has helped the organization focus on a long-term strategy and ensure it is efficiently sourcing food.
Additionally, grassroots organizations would gain ample resources by devising a strategic outreach program. This would create new channels for them to better source needed resources and ultimately benefit all involved parties. This endeavor could include creating a centralized database that align volunteers' skillsets to related initiatives as well as, co-partnering with corporations, educational institutions, and other grassroots organizations to promote community-based initiatives.
The country's economic health is intertwined with Black Americans' ability to successfully contribute to and advance within the U.S. economy. Private, public, and social sectors across the U.S. can become more actionable in their communal efforts and initiatives—to provide the access and opportunities that equip and empower young Black Americans for success, and bolster economic growth. Partnerships between corporations, educational institutions, and grassroots organizations can be essential in manifesting the necessary changes that can disrupt the projected 23% Black American job displacement rate.
Fortunately, a collective effort to alter this projection is achievable. This paper is a step towards unifying engagement for transitioning the Black workforce to more sustainable career paths.
 Banks and other lenders created many subprime loans with conditions that had nothing to do with a borrowers’ ability to repay. These mortgages had high closing cost and prepayment penalties, and low initial rates (teasers) that increased substantially after the borrower was locked in.
 Multiple events like the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, and Breonna Taylor sparked the US to reckon with its treatment of its Black citizens.
Black owned businesses only received 1.6% of loans when they made up 10% of U.S. businesses owners, according to U.S. Census data.
 Black Girls Code provides young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.
 The Hidden Genius Project connects young Black males with the skills, mentors, and experiences that they need to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists in the global economy.
 The GI Bill provided college subsidies to World War II veterans; however, the bill was limiting to Black veterans. A rising supply of white, educated workers allowed Blacks to occupy jobs left by the growing number of whites being educated.
 Controlling for differences in the types of jobs in which blacks and whites work explains about 9 percentage points of the annual gap for men and about 5 percentage points of the annual gap for women. Daly et al. (2017)
 For black men, the contribution of education explaining about 5 percentage points of the total earnings gap. For women, the contribution from educational differences has risen in importance over time, explaining about 2 percentage points of the gap in 1979 but more than 5 percentage points of the gap in 2016. Daly et al. (2017)
 According to Morningstar Inc., sustainable investment funds (ESG funds) in the US in 2020 reached 51.1 billion, double 2019 levels and a nearly 10-fold increase from flows into ESG funds in 2018.
 The US is forecasted to continue its trend of a more racially and ethnically pluralistic society. By 2044, no race or ethnic group will constitute more than 50% of the US population.
 Millennials are significantly more likely than Gen Xers and Boomers to consider diversity and inclusion an important factor in considering a new job (47% vs. 33% and 37%, respectively). Millennials also recognize opportunities with reputational benefits, while Gen Xers and Boomers are more likely to cite external pressures. Millennials at Work: Perspectives on Diversity & Inclusion - Weber Shandwick
 For digital companies, R&D, brand, network effects, customer & supplier relationships, digital data, software, and human capital are building blocks for their business.
 Just Capital, a non-profit activist research firm, found that 68% of the Russell 1000 companies do not disclose racial or ethnic workforce data.
 Companies such as Bain Capital, Google, Facebook, and McKinsey & Company recruit from the program which points to the program’s effectiveness in preparing the participates for their respective fields.
 The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate “holds institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term.”
 School such as Michigan State University offer student-athletes an array of programs to improve their student athletes academic and graduation outcomes. https://www.sass.msu.edu/academic-services/academic-services-overview
 Black male student-athletes had a 57% federal graduation rate, while 42% of black males in the student body graduated. Black female student-athletes also outpace their counterparts in the student body by 15 percentage points (67% to 52%).
 critical thinking, problem solving, analysis, communication, and professional skepticism
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[xiii] Northern employers realized a high demand for their products, creating an increased need for labor. World War I interrupted international migration, which was their tradition source of cheap labor, European immigrants. New laws limiting immigration to the US, after World War I, kept the flow of European labor at a low level, creating a need for Southern black labor.
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