The economy that was in such a state of disarray just a few years ago, is slowly making a comeback. It is not as rapid a recovery as most would like, but it is a fact that cannot be denied…except in the Black Community. While unemployment percentages fell overall, the percentage of African Americans who are unemployed has actually risen. The unemployment rate for the United States is around 8%, which, is still high as unemployment rates go, but lower than we have been experiencing in recent years. The percentage of African Americans who are unemployed is about 16%, double the overall rate for the country.
Republicans often repeat the phrase “government does not create jobs” when trying to justify their opposition to government spending. The Republicans have spearheaded the efforts to cut the amount of government expenditures, which often results in job losses. They insist that the “job creators” are the CEOs of private businesses, who do in fact employ the majority of the workforce in the United States. Government jobs are continuously casualties of the war on government spending. As it stands, over 600,000 jobs have been lost since 2008.
According to the Beureu of Labor Statistics, there are about 22 million people who are employed by the government; this amounts to about 16% of the workforce. A University of California at Berkley study reveals that the public sector has been the most important source of employment for African Americans. The downward trend of the numbers of jobs available in the public sector will continue to have a negative effect on the Black Community.
So while there is a more hopeful picture being painted of the United States economy, the loss of jobs in the public sector is just one reason why the African American community is far behind in the race to economic recovery.
Written by: Kika Ramsay