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Black Unemployment Drops to Lowest Level Since 2007

06 Aug

The economy is recovering. Just not as quickly or as evenly as most would like.  This one from the WSJ…With the usual temporizing.

Black Unemployment Falls Below 10%, Still Twice the Rate for Whites

…For the first time since 2007, the national unemployment rate for African Americans dipped below 10 percent in the second quarter of 2015,  according to the Labor Department. Despite that improvement, at 9.5 percent, it’s still nearly twice the national average of 5.3%, and more than double the 4.6% rate for whites…

Overall, only 11 states had African American unemployment rates below 10%, according to an analysis by Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy. Only eight states have seen unemployment rates for black workers fall below pre-recession levels. In Alabama, the African unemployment rate is more than twice what it was pre-recession: 10.9%, compared with less than 5% throughout 2007…

However, as researchers at the Center for Economic Policy Research have pointed out, that piece of paper is no hedge against unemployment: a 2014 analysis found that 12.4% of black college graduates aged 22 to 27 were unemployed, compared with 5.6% of all college graduates in the same age group.

So what else explains the gap? Unsurprisingly, discrimination appears to be at play. Using what are known as “audit surveys,” researchers have found that black job applicants are less likely to get called back for job interviews or hired, compared with white and Hispanic applicants with identical credentials. One well-known 2009 study byDevah Pager, Bruce Western and Bark Bonikowski used trios of actors, one black, one white, and one Hispanic, to apply for low-wage jobs like sales associate or waiter around New York City. The study found that blacks without a criminal record fared about as well as whites with a stated criminal record (i.e., who listed their parole officers as a reference).  “The findings suggest that a black applicant has to search twice as long as an equally qualified white applicant before receiving a callback or job offer from an employer,” the authors wrote…

African-Americans took one of the hardest hits during the financial crisis, losing one-third of their aggregate household wealth between 2010 and 2013, a Pew Research Center analysis found. Even in a recovery, with so many still looking for work, it’s hard to envision how those families can begin to rebuild.

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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