The National Urban League‘s 38th annual “State Of Black America” report highlights that job creation in the country is of smaller benefit to Black and Latino workers when compared to their White counterparts. The sobering numbers also show the impact of underemployment among African-Americans, who top the list in that category as well.
Titled “One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America,” the report zeroes in on the income inequality that has hammered Black and urban communities as the country rises out of the Great Recession. While jobs have been created in droves since the recession has ended, many of those positions were low-wage or part-time positions. Most affected by the dearth of full-time, higher paying positions have been Blacks and Latinos.
However, it appears that even Latinos are doing better than Blacks in this current economic upswing. According to the report’s numbers, 13.1 percent of African-Americans are unemployed compared alongside 6.5 percent of whites and 9.1 percent of Latinos.
Despite boasts from President Barack Obama that the unemployment rate is the lowest its been in over five years and the boom of manufacturing jobs, there still remains the pesky specter of inequality that looms over the top of urban communities. The president has been fair in acknowledging the disparity, although the slow recovery in those communities continues to fester.
African-American job seekers saw the unemployment rate fall under 12 percent briefly last year, yet 42 percent of those in that group have been jobless long-term while 28 percent have been jobless for a year. The jobs some have been able to obtain still keep them under the underemployed status, meaning workers who are either unemployed or working well beneath the required hours and pay wages to compete economically.
The rate of underemployment for Blacks was 20.5 percent. That means that Latinos at 18.4 percent underemployed are faring slightly better but both groups lag significantly behind Whites who sit at 11.8 percent underemployed.
This year, the report takes a unique look at 80 metropolitan areas comprised of Black and Latinos primarily and ranked them on their unemployment and income equality, respectively. Oklahoma City, Okla., Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg, P.A. all the lowest Black and White unemployment rates. The factor in those three cities was that the federal government serves as a major employer for those areas.
Riverside, Calif., was the city where the Black-White Income Index gap was the narrowest, meaning that Blacks and Whites in the town earned near or around the same. Washington, D.C. and its nearby Northern Virginia city Arlington featured the highest Black median income.
The Washington-Arlington areas were also the highest ranked median income for Whites, although it vanquished the Black median income numbers easily. On the other side, the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) metro are of Minnesota showed the largest gap of income with $28,744 a year for Blacks compared to $71, 376 for whites.
With this extensive data roll out, the National Urban League hopes that government agencies and community organizations applies the findings of the State Of Black America report in bolstering programs and spark discussions on how to slow the damage.
Learn more the 2014 State Of Black America Report by clicking here.