Posts Tagged ‘economy’

African American Middle Class Eroding As Unemployment Rate Soars

Friday, July 29th, 2011

(FoxNews) The unemployment situation across America is bad, no doubt. But for African-Americans in some cities, this is not the great recession. Its the Great Depression.

Take Charlotte, N.C., for example. It is a jewel of the new South. The largest financial center outside of New York City, it's the showcase for next years Democratic National Convention. It was a land of hope and opportunity for many blacks with a four-year college degree or higher.

According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, in Charlotte, N.C., the unemployment rate for African-Americans is 19.2 percent. If you add in people who have given up looking for jobs, that number exceeds 20 percent, which, according to economists Algernon Austin and William Darity, has effectively mired blacks in a depression.

Youre looking at a community that is economically depressed in my opinion, Austin said. And we need action that will address that scale of joblessness.

Vanessa Parker worked hard to get ahead. She was an administrative assistant at IBM in Charlotte. She went to night school to better herself, graduating with a bachelors degree in finance. Parker and her husband saved up enough money to move from a bad neighborhood to a quiet, middle-class street. But instead of moving up in the company, IBM moved out. Now she works at a big-box store for minimum wage.

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Hispanics Lost Two-Thirds Of Household Wealth In Recession: Study

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

(Huffington Post) Wealth disparities between white households and black and Hispanic households are greater than they’ve been in the past 25 years, a new study from the Pew Research Center has found.

The report, released Tuesday, shows that median wealth declined by 66 percent among Hispanic households between 2005 and 2009. For black households during the same time period, median wealth fell by 53 percent, while white households experienced a decline of only 16 percent.

The changes in median wealth over the four-year period measured mean that as of 2009, the average black household had only $5,677 in wealth — that is, assets minus debts — and the average Hispanic household had only $6,325. The average white household had $113,149 in wealth — 18 times that of Hispanic households, and 20 times that of black households.

The Pew study is only the latest in a series of reports indicating that the recession took a greater economic toll on minorities than on whites. In 2009, the Center for American Progress examined the effects of the downturn on minority employment and earnings. They found that unemployment rates rose faster for blacks and Hispanics than for whites during 2008, and that median family income declined more for blacks and Hispanics than whites during the same time period.

A 2010 Congressional report found that the recession had hit especially hard in industries that employ a high percentage of Hispanics, like construction and manufacturing, and in parts of the country with large Hispanic communities, like California, Nevada and Florida.

That same year, a report from the National Urban League concluded that blacks and Hispanics were three times as likely as whites to live below the poverty line.

Full story…

Report: Blacks Lag Behind Others in Slow Economic Recovery

Friday, July 8th, 2011

(AFL-CIO) While the economic recovery is moving slowly for everyone, African Americans, especially teens, are trailing far behind other workers, according to a new report.  

The Black Labor Force in the American Recovery,” released today by the U.S. Department of Labor, shows that last month the unemployment rate for blacks was 16.2 percent; down only 0.3 percentage points from the peak of 16.5 percent in March and April of last year. The national jobless rate in May was 9.1 percent.

Black teens, age 16-19, fared even worse with an unemployment rate of 40.7 percent last month, down from a record high of 49.2 percent in September 2010. Not only has the unemployment rate remained high, but a large number of black teens are no longer in the labor force — either working or looking for work.

Some good news, according to the report, is that the reduction in black teens in the labor force may be because more are in school. Among 16-19 year olds, 81.5 percent were enrolled in school in October 2010, compared to 80.7 percent in 2007, the year the recession began.

Full story…

Young Black, Hispanic Men Likely To Be Jobless, Imprisoned Or Dead

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

(News One) According a new study by the College Board’s Advocacy & Policy Center, young Black and Hispanic men are heading down a socially downward spiral.

The study found that 51 percent of Hispanic males and 45 percent of African American males ages 15-24 will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead.

ABC News Channel 3 in North Carolina Reports:

"The College Board report on educational experience observed, “…Men, especially minority men, lag behind their female counterparts in college access, educational attainment and employment. Minority men outpace their female counterparts only in negative post-secondary outcomes: unemployment, incarceration and death.”

In order to accomplish President Obama’s goal of the United States retaking its position as the world’s best educated nation, improvements must be made in the rate men of color enroll in and graduate from college, the report stated."

Secretary of Labor: Economic Recovery Needs to Include Black Community

Monday, June 13th, 2011

(The Root) In a blog post on Work in Progress, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Labor, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis tackles unemployment and its impact on “vulnerable demographic populations.” She discusses the unacceptably high rate of unemployment among blacks in general, which is at 16 percent, and black teens, which is at 40.7 percent.

Those factors were outlined in the report The Black Labor Force in the Recovery, which was released last week. Read an excerpt of what Solis has to say about what black communities are facing in the job market. What do you think should be done to help decrease the disparity?

The unemployment rate for black workers remains unacceptably high at 16.2%. African American workers are more likely to work in the public sector than either white or Latino workers, so they’ve faced more of the burden of the continuing loss of state and local government jobs. Black employment took the largest hit in manufacturing, financial activities, wholesale/retail trade, transportation/warehousing, and construction. But industries like transportation, warehousing and health care employ a large share of black workers and are growing. We need to match the skills needed in these areas to more African American workers, and then match those people to the growing number of jobs in those industries.

Full story…

Economy poll: African Americans, Hispanics were hit hardest but are most optimistic

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

(Washington Post) Despite severe losses during the recession, the majority of African Americans see the economy improving and are confident that their financial prospects will improve soon.

That optimism, shared to a lesser degree by Hispanics, stands in stark contrast to the deeper pessimism expressed by a majority of whites. In general, whites are more satisfied with their personal financial situations but also more sour about the nation’s economic prospects.

Those are among the findings of a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation-Harvard University poll that probed attitudes in the wake of a downturn that more than doubled unemployment and wiped away nearly a fifth of Americans’ net worth.

African Americans and Hispanics were more likely to be left broke, jobless and concerned that they lack the skills needed to shape their economic futures. But they also remained the most hopeful that the economy would soon right itself and allow them to prosper.

Full story…

U.S. labor chief cites ‘unacceptable’ jobless rates for #minorities. #africanamerican unemployment rate now at 15%.

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

(Kansas City Star) Hilda Solis, the U.S. secretary of labor, told a group of columnists last week that she and the administration recognize that unemployment numbers for African-American males are at an alarming level. And they are trying to do something about it.

While unemployment for the nation hovers well over 9 percent, for African-Americans, unemployment is estimated at 15 percent.

In recognizing Labor Day, Solis did a telephone interview with members of the Trotter Group, a group of black columnists from across the nation. Solis used the occasion to provide a sort of state of the economy.

“For young people and especially people of regions of the country hardest hit by the recession, and especially people of color, as you know, the unemployment rate is much higher,” Solis said. “And I am very concerned about that. To me, it’s unacceptable. In some communities, it goes as high as 25 to 30 and even as high as 40 percent.”

Full story…

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