Thursday, January 7, 2010

More on Unemployment

Numbers Still Too High, an editorial from yesterday's Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, clarified that joblessness among African-American men in Milwaukee is closer to "16.4%, instead of the widely reported 50%." Still, the editorial notes, that number is still too high.
The estimated 16.4% unemployment rate for African-American males 16 and older is almost triple the rates for white males (5.8%) and double that of Hispanic males (8.1%), according to the 2008 data.

Among black males, the unemployment rate was lowest for men of prime working age, 25 to 54. In this group, 12.4% were unemployed. The data shows that the rates were highest, 39.5%, for male teens in the labor force, which included students seeking work.
They write that education is a long-term solution, since "more education and completion of degrees results in higher employment levels and higher wages." And for the short term, they write that "a stronger emphasis is needed on creating jobs - targeted where the need is greatest and including public service jobs."

In an interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, also known as the Black Press of America, Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree said that he thinks an additional stimulus package is needed "and the president needs to use his bully pulpit to make sure that not only is the money provided, but that governors, mayors and local officials actually spend it on the most vulnerable communities in our cities and states.”

And speaking of "vulnerable communities" that reminds me of something.

In an article California's unemployment rate shrinks - but so do the number of jobs from the Los Angeles Times, it was noted that low-income African Americans in Cali are often at a disadvantage, among other reasons, because when looking for jobs they "aren't plugged into the tight networks many immigrants use to find employment."

Apparently, some black communities are under-perform or perhaps are out-performed when it comes to plugging its members into the necessary channels for gaining employment.

That lack of a tight and well-connected network is a problem for African Americans seeking higher-level jobs as well, for as this NYTIMES article In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap noted many higher-level jobs "are never even posted and depend on word-of-mouth and informal networks."

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