“While ‘too big to fail’ corporations went into the bail-out emergency room and recovered to break earnings and stock market records, most Americans have been left in ICU with multiple diagnoses of unemployment, underemployment, home losses and foreclosures, low or no savings and retirement accounts, credit denials, cuts in education and school funding—and the list of maladies continues.” — – Marc H. Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
I’m reading some sobering statistics about how African-Americans are disproportionately unemployed, underemployed and losing ground to whites – and now Latinos — on a national income scale.
Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League, calls it a “crisis” for black America.
He is not exaggerating.
In the National Urban League’s 38th annual “State of Black America” report titled, “One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America,” the study focuses on the income disparity between Blacks, whites and Latinos, and how urban communities are suffering from severe economic hardships.
The report said African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed. According to the report’s numbers, 13.1 percent of African-Americans are unemployed compared to 6.5 percent of whites and 9.1 percent of Latinos.
“We’re focusing on unemployment, under-employment and the economic crisis that black America faces,” Morial said in an interview with BlackAmericaWeb.com.
“This year,” Morial said, “the report also includes some deep statistical information about the income disparity between Blacks, whites and Latinos and the unemployment disparity between Blacks, whites and Latinos in American cities.”
Morial said it’s been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” and today, the SOBA Report reveals the widening inequality gap between the nation’s richest and poorest citizens.
Here is one critical finding: White unemployment is back down to 6% while the Black unemployment rate remains at12%.
Morial said the SOBA Report Equality Index in years past has provided a single national measure of the financial disparities between Blacks and Whites and Hispanics and Whites. But this year the report includes for the first time rankings of 80 U.S. urban cities, from the most equal to the least equal on the income disparity scale.
The report said that Georgia’s Augusta-Richmond County area reported the smallest unemployment gap where 13.3 percent of Blacks are unemployed compared to 8.5 percent of whites. Morial said the largest jobless gap was discovered in Madison, Wisconsin, where 18.5 percent of Blacks are unemployed compared with 4.4 percent of whites.
The report also found that Minneapolis/ St. Paul showed one of the largest income gaps between Blacks and whites with Blacks earning $28,744 a year compared to $71, 376 for whites.
“In every city we looked at, there were income disparities,” Morial said.
The National Urban League is pushing for several economic measures, including an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016. Republicans vehemently oppose raising the minimum wage, saying it would cost too many jobs.
Meanwhile, Morial said he hopes the 2014 National Urban League report will serve as a rallying call for black America.
“We want people to be empowered by the information and use the information in their efforts to raise awareness for advocacy at the local levels,” Morial said.