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Caught Our Eye

White congressional aides make thousands more

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on April 11, 2018

White congressional staffers make thousands a year more than their non-white colleagues, according to a new LegiStorm analysis of congressional salaries.

In the House, white staffers take home an annual salary that is, on average, $900 more than Asian aides, $2,000 more than Hispanic aides and $3,500 more than black aides. In the Senate, white staffers make about $4,800 more than Asian aides, $1,800 more than Hispanic aides and a whopping $7,000 more than black aides. These numbers include bonuses, if any.

These numbers don't necessarily mean that non-white staffers are being paid less for the exact same work. But many of Congress's top-paying job titles illustrate such a disparity. Non-white chiefs of staff, for example, make an average of $7,580 less in the House and $2,330 less in the Senate compared to their white counterparts. Non-white legislative directors make $1,630 less in the House and $5,690 less in the Senate.

Non-white staffers across Congress are paid less for jobs in policy, in communications and in miscellaneous other jobs. White communications staffers net an average of $6,350 more in the House and $4,420 more in the Senate than non-white staffers.

That trend is reversed for constituent service jobs. Racial minorities who work in constituent service positions actually make $500 more in the House and $1,838 more in the Senate than their white peers. The latter difference could be accounted for at least in part by the fact that non-white staffers tend to work in more urban areas, which are more expensive.