Sunday, December 4, 2011
In November, White Unemployment Drops, While Black Unemployment Rises in Every Category
by Dr. Boyce Watkins – Your Black World
When it comes to the November unemployment numbers issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was a tale of two ethnicities. White Americans saw their unemployment rate decline in every demographic (women, men and teens), while African Americans saw their rate rise in every single category.
The overall national unemployment rate dropped from 9% to 8.6%, which has been hailed as a victory for the Obama Administration. But the differentials conceal a sharp and problematic racial undertone as it pertains to black unemployment. White men saw their unemployment rate decline the most, dropping from 7.9% to 7.3%, while black men endured a spike from 16.2% to an especially disturbing 16.5%.
White women were the beneficiaries of racial inequality as well. The white female unemployment rate dropped from 7% to 6.9% (the lowest rate of any racial/gender group), while black female unemployment rose from 12.6% to 12.9%.
The racial gap was also present among teenagers. White teen unemployment dropped from 21.8% to 21.3%, while black teen unemployment rose from 37.8% to 39.6%.
Across the board, white unemployment dropped from 8% to 7.6%, while black unemployment rose from 15.1% to 15.5%.
Part of the reason that I agreed to serve as the National Spokesperson for the Ujamaa Initiative to support black business is because of numbers like the ones I’ve mentioned in this article. Malcolm X reminded us long ago that if African Americans do not own their own businesses, we will always be subject to glaring disparities in unemployment rates, mainly because the jobs are being controlled and granted by the descendants of our historical oppressors.
Having a black president hasn’t done much to change our circumstances. In fact, we are worse off than we were before 2008. This is not to say that the Obama Administration is to blame, but it is entirely clear that they don’t have the power to solve such a serious and persistent problem.
New paradigms are in order to help us to obtain empowerment in a capitalist society. If we continue to attack the old issues in the same old ways, we will continue to get the same depressing results. What’s even more insulting is that after this recession is over, black unemployment will likely remain just as high as white unemployment is right now. In other words, we will be expected to celebrate the circumstances that white Americans now consider to be entirely unbearable.
It’s time for a change.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.
Posted by Standard English at 12:57 PM