WASHINGTON (AP) _ Blacks and Hispanics are lagging behind whites at the largest rates in roughly a decade when it comes to higher-paying jobs in the U.S.

Census data released Monday highlight an increasingly educated U.S. work force whose earnings did not always seem to match up with its potential, partly due to a housing slowdown and recession.

About 87 percent of residents last year had graduated from high school and 29 percent from college.

But the pay disparity widened for blacks with college degrees. Blacks who had a bachelor's degree earned about 78 cents for every dollar made by whites. It was the biggest disparity since 2001.

Hispanics with bachelor's degrees made roughly 75 cents for every dollar made by whites.