Black Unemployment Highest Since 1984
The last time black unemployment was this high Barack Obama was fresh out of college.
CNN Money (“Black unemployment: Highest in 27 years“):
Black unemployment surged to 16.7% in August, its highest level since 1984, while the unemployment rate for whites fell slightly to 8%, the Labor Department reported.
“This month’s numbers continue to bear out that longstanding pattern that minorities have a much more challenging time getting jobs,” said Bill Rodgers, chief economist with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
Black unemployment has been roughly double that of whites since the government started tracking the figures in 1972. Economists blame a variety of factors. The black workforce is younger than the white workforce, lower numbers of blacks get a college degree and many live in areas of the country that were harder hit by the recession — all things that could lead to a higher unemployment rate. But even excluding those factors, blacks still are hit with higher joblessness.
Eyeballing the accompanying chart, while the black and white rates operate in almost precise parallel, the gap widens during extreme spikes:
The black unemployment rate was historic lows during the Bush presidency and has tripled since Obama too over. The culprit, of course, is the global recession rather than the change in leadership. The silver lining is that 16.7 percent is much better than the 23 percent levels of the Reagan recession.