Since the Great Recession ended, African-Americans have been getting back to work slowly, just like the rest of the population. But one thing hasn’t changed much over several decades: the disparity between African-Americans and whites in the job market.
“The black unemployment rate is typically twice that of the white unemployment rate — in good times and even in bad times,” says William Rodgers, chief economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. “We’re creating jobs, we’ve got economic growth, but it’s not enough to move down the job ladder to young minorities, to teenagers, to young millennials who have just graduated from college.”
In the late 1960s, about 7 percent of blacks were unemployed, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today, the rate is about 12 percent.
Margaret Simms at the Urban Institute says the uneven jobs recovery following the Great Recession poses particular challenges. There is still a high degree of residential segregation in the U.S., and places that have been booming, where employers are desperate for workers — like North Dakota — don’t necessarily have a lot of minority job-seekers.
“African-Americans tend to be geographically concentrated in communities where jobs are not growing fast,” says Simms, “and in some cases there are very few jobs available.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at
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