US Unemployment Now Down to Where African-American Unemployment Was, Pre-Recession

There’s been a lot of expectation management over the recent news that the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped from 8.7 percent to 8.5 percent. Alan Krueger noted that “[i]t is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the recession that began at the end of 2007.” Many economists expect unemployment to increase if the economy picks up, because people who have drifted out of the labor force will start looking for work again, raising the unemployment rate. And as everyone recognizes, there’s still a terrible amount of suffering with unemployment as high as 8.5 percent — wasted capacity, wasted opportunities, and mass misery. Though things may be looking up, they are still quite painful.

One interesting thing to note is that the number in between 8.7 percent and 8.5 percent, a threshold the country just crossed, was the average unemployment rate for African Americans going into the recession. The rate from 2006-2007 for African American men and women over 16 was 8.6 percent. Let’s chart that out (click through for larger image):

Total African American unemployment is currently at 15.8 percent and has been hovering around 16 percent for three years now. All the other major employment health indicators are down as well. For instance, the employment-to-population ratio is down to 51 percent from 60 percent in 2001. Nearly half of all African Americans aren’t working.

The economy is terrible for all Americans right now and we desperately need action to both expand the economy and repeal attempts to contract it. But it is worth remembering that the unemployment misery all Americans are experiencing right now is equal to what it was like during the best two years of the 21st century for African Americans.

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7 Responses to US Unemployment Now Down to Where African-American Unemployment Was, Pre-Recession

  1. Pingback: U.S. Unemployment Has Improved To...The Best Rate African Americans Have Ever Eexperienced | Floating Path

  2. Does it really matter if the employment percentages keep dropping? It took 3 years and counting to get any kind of downward tick. On top of that, Parallel Foreclosure is still legal. What scumbag president continues to allow parallel foreclosure to exist and thrive, quite possibly a federal hobbs act violation, extortion under the color of right and resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of homes from their rightful owners.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/john-g-stumpf-ceo-wells-fargo-rescind-rachel-kendalls-foreclosure-auction

  3. Trevor Pratt says:

    “But it is worth remembering that the unemployment misery all Americans are experiencing right now is equal to what it was like during the best two years of the 21st century for African Americans.” Spoken like a true white man.

    • caleno1 says:

      Trevor, if you want to say something provocative, or even compelling, please do yourself and readers a favor and draw out the thought to the point where it’s supported by some sort of coherent argument and therefore understood. I’m afraid the quote you chose doesn’t, on its face, support your comment. Smoke, but no fire.

  4. Pingback: Today’s Links | Nubian Stylez

  5. Pingback: One nation under something « occasional links & commentary

  6. workingpoor says:

    If expanding the economy is a President of America issue/matter than by default it is also a Big Government/Big Business issue. Maybe we should look at how the infamous President Woodrow Wilson set the stage for the economic mess where in now: 1. He gave power to The Federal Reserve (all super-rich white men/bankers) to CONTROL the circulation of paper fiat money (without any accountability controls). 2. The Federal Reserve created instruments of debts for central banks and a means to profit from that debt by adding interests to each paper dollar that they lend/deliver to the next down tier of banks. 3. The banks create instruments for businesses/borrowers to be indebted to them. So it appears that he who controls the interest rates that are attached to currency, also controls the economy. It seems to me that everybody in Americas is forced to borrower money we don’t have, by default, especially since non-cash (iou’s like credit cards and/or signature-financed loans) purchases are standard/preferred in most business related transactions.

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