WASHINGTON (AP) — While unemployment has been a major impediment to African-Americans’ economic progress, underemployment is a bigger obstacle for them than it is for whites or Hispanics, the National Urban League says in its latest State of Black America report.

The annual report, called “One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America,” noted that African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed. The unemployment rate for blacks was 12 percent in February, compared to 5.8 percent for whites.

The underemployment rate for African-American workers was 20.5 percent, the report said, compared to 18.4 percent for Hispanic workers and 11.8 percent for white workers. Underemployment is defined as those who are jobless or working part-time jobs but desiring full-time work.

“The post-recession economy is leaving too many people behind,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said.
Despite the dismal numbers, an analysis by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found African-Americans significantly more optimistic about their future standard of living than whites, regardless of income level, education, or partisanship. Overall, 71 percent of blacks surveyed in the 2012 General Social Survey agreed that they have a good chance of improving their standard of living, outpacing the share among whites by 25 percentage points.

The survey found high optimism even among blacks who say racism is a cause for economic inequality.

Such findings illustrate “a level of optimism in the African-American community and it’s important to lift that up,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which released similar findings this week in separate research.

The National Urban League is pushing for several economic measures, including an increase in the minimum wage, an issue being debated in Congress. Democrats backed by President Barack Obama want to force election-year votes on gradually increasing today’s minimum to $10.10 by 2016, an effort that seems likely to fail in Congress. Republicans generally oppose the proposal, saying it would cost too many jobs.

“More must be done in post-recession America to try to help people and help communities close these gaps,” Morial said.

The National Urban League derives its numbers from an “equality index” that is based on nationally collected data from federal agencies including the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With full equality with whites in economics, health, education, social justice and civic engagement set at 100 percent, the National Urban League said this year’s equality index for blacks stands at 71.2 percent, a slight improvement over last year’s index of 71.0 percent. However, the economic portion of the index dropped from 56.3 percent to 55.5 percent.

The equality index for Hispanics improved to 75.8 percent, compared to 74.6 percent last year, while the Hispanic economics index declined from 60.8 percent to 60.6 percent.

The report for the first time ranked large American cities from most equal to least equal when it comes to income equality and unemployment equality.

Memphis, Tenn., ranked the most equal for Hispanics when it came to unemployment equality, because in that city the Latino unemployment rate was only 3.8 percent, compared with a 6.5 percent unemployment rate for whites. For blacks, the Augusta-Richmond County, Ga., metropolitan area was most equal, with a 13.3 percent unemployment rate for blacks and an 8.5 percent unemployment rate for whites.

When it came to income, the most equal city for blacks was Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., where the median black household income was $44,572, while the median white household brought in $57,252. For Hispanics, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., was most equal, with median Hispanic income of $39,434 and median white income of $44,014.

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(Photo: AP)

6 thoughts on “Urban League: Blacks Doing Worse in the Job Market

  1. Joe valdez on said:

    Obama is a fraud . It’s all about him his family and his legacy .Obama doesn’t care about Blacks remember he is not Black He is a half breed Mulatto . YELLOW Mulatto

  2. candyapple on said:

    Obama professes to help blacks while funding black genocide… see planned parenthood.Planned Parenthood Got $540.6 Million in Government Grants in FY 2013.

  3. jhuf on said:

    Racism is the cause of economic inequality? No how about getting knocked up when your 15
    And by the time your 21 you need a school bus to shuttle your family around or how about
    Little Deshawn who only wants to be a rapper he can’t spell the word but that’s what failing schools have brought thanks to Liberal democratic policys the same people that keep us in this plight
    who we embrace ,so now that those High paying shovel ready jobs that never came so we’ll
    just raise the wages of those dead end low an no skill jobs since we have NOTHING else to offer

  4. Mac Ben on said:

    Less education plus more attitude equals fewer opportunities. GET EDUCATED black folk and have some self-respect! There are many platforms in which to get a degree/certifications.

    • Debbie on said:

      Bull shit!!! White folks own everything, we don’t. They will pay our asses less than they pay themselves. the average black person makes about 40 percent less than a white person in the same position. Education ain’t it. There are a lot of white people being hired on both of my jobs, that are making a whole lot more money than me and they have no education. They are not even smart, they are just white and that means a lot in the fucked up country!!!

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