For African-Americans, 50 Years of High Unemployment and Counting
- For most of the past 50 years, the Black unemployment rate has been above 10 percent.
- The more economically productive African-Americans are the stronger economically the country is.
- By increasing employment for Blacks, we produce a better-educated and more productive American workforce.
Since the start of the Great Recession, the national unemployment rate peaked in 2010 with an annual average of 9.6 percent. Everyone would agree that 9.6 percent is a high rate of unemployment. From 2002 to 2005, however, before the Great Recession, the African-American unemployment rate was over 10 percent. Since 2008, the Black unemployment rate has exceeded 10 percent. My current projections are that the Black unemployment rate will continue to exceed 10 percent through 2015.
The sad fact is that for most of the past 50 years, the Black unemployment rate has been above 10 percent. While whites have experienced short periods of high unemployment, high unemployment has been a consistent feature of African-American life.