January 5, 2012

Black Unemployment Rate Rises to 15.8% in December 2011

The economy added 200,000 jobs last month according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are about 13.1 million unemployed people in the country bringing our overall unemployment rate to 8.5% ... down to its lowest level since February 2009 ... almost three years ago.  This is good news for the re-election prospects of President Obama.

The news is not as rosy for the Black community.

The unemployment rate in the Black community rose in December 2011 to 15.8%.  This compares to previous months:
  • Aug 2011 - 16.7%
  • Sep 2011 - 16.0%
  • Nov 2011 - 15.5%
The overall message for the US economy is good. This is the sixth straight month with over 100,000 people entering the workforce. However, that is still a ridiculously high rate of unemployment for African Americans is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Jobs gained in December 2011 spanned virtually all industries, including: Transportation and warehousing (makes sense with all of the holiday gifts being shipped around the nation); retail trade; manufacturing; health care and mining.

What is your opinion of the unemployment data that was released today?


Carolyn Moon said...

@Villager..The disparity is amazing and although the President is smiling somewhat about overall increase in jobs..things remain dismal in many of our communities.


Villager said...

Carolyn - I don't begrudge the President being happy about the increase in jobs around the nation. However, it is up to us to ensure that the rest of the story is also being told. That is the reason that my focus on the monthly unemployment numbers is usually with impact on the Black community. One solution is for Black folks to 'Buy Black' more often...

Carolyn Moon said...

I totally agree with "buy black" and do so on a consistent basis off and online. We speak of the plight that black folks must endure which is no margin or room for error from service positions to the highest office in the country. I can't tell you the number of times over the years of hearing black folks who are disappointed with a service or product by a black business-declare they are done. They further use this as a reinforcement of their views that the service is better outside of the community. When we are dissatisfied with "mainstream" services we just find another provider. Many of us are guilty of stereotyping when we fall into the mindset of avoiding black enterprises/services based on isolated incidents.

It was the President who indicated that a "rising tide lifts all boats", yet, has also been recorded as saying that --"Obviously black Americans have suffered more". He's definitely in an unenviable position regarding this subject.


Villager said...

Carolyn - The new numbers come out in a few hours for unemployment in month of March 2012. Hopefully, the rate of unemployment for Black folks will show a decline...