New Study Reveals Same Old Reality for Blacks

African Americans continue to lose ground in employment

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Despite the shrinking jobless rate, no one metro area had an unemployment rate lower than 7.3%.

Even with the news that the unemployment rate for African Americans dropped from 15.9% in April to 14.7% in June, blacks continue to feel the burdens of joblessness at a much more intense rate than whites or are currently at 8.3%. A recent study called Uneven Pain: Unemployment by Metropolitan Area and Race, conducted by Algernon Austin of the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute (EPI), outlined the disparities.

Surveying the impact of the Great Recession using data from 2009, the following were among their findings:

— Only one metro area had a white unemployment rate above 11.3% (Detroit with  13.8%). Nine metro areas had a Hispanic unemployment rate above 11.3% and 14 had a black unemployment rate above that level.

— No metropolitan area had a black unemployment rate below 7.3% and only two areas had Hispanic unemployment rates below 7.3%. Nearly half of the areas-24-had white unemployment rates below that level.

— The black-white unemployment ratio was highest in Minneapolis and Memphis. In these metropolitan areas, the black unemployment rate was three times the white rate.

Among the most disturbing of the findings was that, “in many instances, disparities are visible in unemployment rates even when we compare racial subgroups with the same level of education.”

  • Tim

    Maybe its time to stop blaming other people and step it up yourself. If a poor black man can grow up to become president, nobody has an excuse. How about TRYING HARDER. It’s time for us black people to stop blaming others and take responsibility for our own shortcomings.

    • Joseph

      Since graduating with a BS in Electrical Engineer 14 years ago it has been a huge challenge to obtain employment within decent organization.

      Although being one of the most productive employees, promotions were rear. It was also common not to be recommended for training seminars. As for being mentored, (as common in these technical fields) – forget it!

      My conclusion. For me, a minority to make any inroads in the engineering field I must build my own darn company! I am doing so with the information gleamed from forums like Black Enterprise, and other Internet and Library sources.
      I am disgusted of those who falsely say that minorities choose not to work etc. Usually, these are the same racists who, when in management positions, unfairly deny those who do not look like them an equal opportunity.
      The disparity in unemployment of minorities- those equally qualified with the rest of the workforce, paints a clear picture. To sum it, we need to create more work opportunities for ourselves!

      • txrbt

        Well, maybe. I am in IT, and if I am honest I recognize that there are indeed those around me that are more gifted than me. But in your case you reach for that race card don’t you, buddy boy. Also, you can’t spell worth a dog which could (I said “could”) point to a lack of what companies expect of top tier employees. My guess is that you had a chip on your shoulder on your first day of work and it’s still there. But good luck to you.

  • John

    Tim, are you crazy? Tell me what you know about trying hard. Tell me how you stop blaming the white power structure when you graduate with a professional degree from a university and can’t get a job, while your white classmates and friends who performed so poorly during the two years of training are the ones getting the jobs for which you all apply? You certainly don’t have a foggy idea about the pain many of us feel when after a job interview you get told highly qualify you are, but then the person who gets the job position is your unqualified white friend. And you’re telling hardworking black people to “take responsibility for our own shortcomings?” Do you have a wife and kids? Tell us how you feel when you can’t provide enough for them. You really have a lot to learn about the psycho-sociology of this country and the economic impact of racial identities in America. Think deep about what you want to say before you say it. Don’t make a fool of yourself just because you may be financially stable.

  • Jim

    Why does everyone think that if you are Black and you become successful, you must have grew up poor?
    Obama had a very extraordinary life.  His life was far from the definition of poor that youth go through today.  He has accomplished great things and I believe he will accomplish even more, however, battling poor was not one of them.

  • Carla

    (Sigh)Tim, You’re
    part of the problem and doesn’t know…and therein lies the problem.