Brazilians of African descent on average earn 36 percent less than non-black Brazilians, according to a study released Wednesday by the Inter-Union Department for Statistics and Economic Studies. Released a week before the country's Black Awareness Day, the research found that black workers in Brazil with less than a middle school education earn an average of 5.27 reals (2.27 U.S. dollars) an hour, while non-black workers earn an average of 6.46 reals (2.78 U.S. dollars), a gap of 18.5 percent. The gap is wider among workers with college degrees, with black Brazilians earning an average of 17.39 reals (7.49 U.S. dollars) per hour -- 40 percent less than non-black workers with college degrees, who earn an average of 29.03 reals (12.51 U.S. dollars) per hour. The study also suggests that more black Brazilians work in jobs that require fewer qualifications, such as domestic work and entry-level positions in the construction industry. The wage gap between black workers and non-black workers is present regardless of region, type of job, industry, or level of schooling. In addition, the study found that both job opportunities and leadership positions are less available to black Brazilians, meaning black workers find it more difficult to get a job and more difficult to advance in their careers. While 18.1 percent of non-black workers achieve positions of leadership, only 3.7 percent of black workers are hired for those jobs in the first place. "The rise in education levels improves skills among the black population, but does not bridge the gap, because we found more inequalities among workers with a college education," said Lucia Garcia, the study's coordinator.