A Portrait of Inequality – Today’s Unemployment Crisis - with
Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
Andrew Stettner, Policy Analyst, Ntl Employment Law Project
Mark Levitan, Senior Policy Analyst,Community Service Society
The unemployment rate fell from 6.4 percent in June to 6.2 percent in July. But the decline stemmed from the fact that nearly half a million jobless
workers who had been looking for work stopped their search entirely, and so, weren’t counted as being in the labor force at all. That destroys whatever
good one might have found in the unemployment rate for blacks dropping to 11.1 percent in July, from June’s 11.8 percent; and to 8.2 percent for Latinos, from June’s 8.4 percent. The unemployment rate for both
months for whites remained stable at 5.5 percent. The unemployment rate for N.Y.C is 8.1% with the same disparity for Blacks & Latinos .
There’s little question that the statistics on the unemployment situation indicate a long term crisis especially for African-Americans and Latinos. These figures have been analyzed in depth by recent studies by the National Employment Law Service and for N.Y.C. by the Community Service Society.
More than 9 million Americans are out of work. Nearly 1.6 million have been jobless so long they’ve exhausted their 26-week unemployment benefits; and another million or so are close to that economic precipice. Moreover, economists and other observers of the labor market say the immediate prospects for getting some significant number of these Americans back to work are bleak. The National Urban
League will soon convene a “Commission on Jobs and the Urban Economy” to develop a new economic plan for the nation’s cities, where the large
majority of African Americans live.
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