Black unemployment rate increases to 13.5 percent in May 2013
By Roger Caldwell
There is a major disparity in the Black unemployment rate, when you compare it to the white unemployment rate. The official national unemployment rate is 7.6 percent, but the white unemployment rate in May is 6.7 percent. On the other hand the Black unemployment rate is 13.5 percent, and in some states such as Michigan the rate is 18.7 percent for our community.
The job recovery that we hear every day from the media appears to have missed our community, and 50 percent of Black males are unemployed. There is a crisis in the Black community for jobs, and violence, crime and theft is on the increase. For the past two months the economists have reported that the Black unemployment had decreased to 13.2 percent, but in May it increased to 13.5 percent.
Mark Zandi chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which helps to co-produce the job report said, “The softer job market this spring is largely due to significant fiscal drag from tax increases and government spending cuts. Government spending cuts are impacting African-Americans in various ways, from jobs, including furloughs enforced due to the sequester to safety-net and educational programs. As a result, the Black unemployment rate continues to be nearly twice as high as the overall rate.”
There is still a recession in the Black community and President Obama must be asked by our Black lawmakers and leaders, “What is his plan to improve the condition of our community?” Up to this point, the president has gotten a free ride and passes from the Black community. It appears that as long as he does not mention race, and keeps his nose clean, Blacks will be proud of the first Black president.
Many Blacks feel that they cannot question or disagree with the president’s policies, and as a result there is no national Black Agenda or plan for the Black community. There are 40 percent of Black children who live in poverty, and the incarceration rate for Black men is so high that it is a national disgrace and crime. Since President Obama has taken office, Black America has taken an economic beating, and has been swindled out of two generations of wealth.
There is no way that the majority of Blacks can be happy or satisfied with the state of Black America in 2013. President Obama appears to be sitting on the sideline and he knows that he has our community in his back pocket. Blacks are aware that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but Blacks tend to stay quiet, and not upset the apple cart.
It is time for the Black community to develop a comprehensive Black Agenda that addresses several fundamental problems in our community. I would assume that jobs would be at the top of the list, because there are very few large corporations in our community that employ one-thousand or more workers. There are probably even less African American businesses that are international in scope, and employ tens-of-thousands of workers around the globe.
In order for the Black community to recover from the recession, it is essential that we take control of our own economic destiny. We must begin to partner and collaborate with each other and think globally and internationally. It is important to challenge the president and put pressure on him to develop policies and problems that address the Black community.
The current recover is not designed to stop the economic free-fall of Black America and we must become self-reliant and patronize each other. It is time to upset the apple cart and let President Obama know we want action from him and the federal government to help the Black community recover from the recession, and help provide jobs in our community.