WASHINGTON -- The federal government, the United States' biggest employer, fired minority workers at more than twice the rate of whites last year, according to official personnel records obtained by Knight-Ridder.
The disparity between whites and minorities existed at every pay grade and for every occupational group, but was greatest among low-level, blue-collar and clerical workers, the Office of Personnel Management statistics showed.
Overall, minority men were dismissed at more than three times the rate of whites, and minority women at double the rate of whites.
Minorities made up slightly more than a quarter of the federal work force of 2.2 million in 1992, according to OPM figures. But they account for more than half of the nearly 12,000 employees dismissed.
OPM statisticians did not distinguish among different minority groups, but previous studies suggested that blacks were the most frequently fired by a large margin.
These studies found that more than twice as many blacks as whites were involved in major disciplinary actions. Asian-Americans generally had lower disciplinary rates than whites. Rates for Hispanics and American Indians were comparable to whites or somewhat higher.