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155,000 New Jobs Added, But Black Unemployment Rises

Finding work is still a major headache in the black community. December overall job growth numbers in the U.S. indicate an increase of about 155,000 new jobs, with the  unemployment rate still at 7.8 percent. While these figures are similar to previous months, the black unemployment rate saw a significant increase, signaling a challenge for President Barack Obama in his second term if he is going to make a difference for the black community.

The black jobless rate jumped from 13.2 percent in November to 14 percent in December, which is a big rise because the rate only includes people who are still actively looking for work.

Ever since the government began tracking unemployment data by race in 1972, the black unemployment rate has remained double the national rate.

In the African-American community, as in most others, many of the indicators of wellness, success and quality of life are connected to employment. When large numbers of black men and young blacks are unemployed, the standard of living for black families suffers dramatically, even in families where a female has a job.

When the leaders of the major black civil rights organizations, such as Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network and Marc Morial of the National Urban League, met last month to craft a “black agenda” to present to President Obama, economic parity for African-Americans and increasing black employment were major items on the list.

“The plight of the African-American community underscores the urgency of our demand,” the leaders said in a joint statement. “The African-American community was disproportionately battered by the Great Recession, and has benefited the least from the fragile economic recovery. Unemployment remains unacceptably high; income inequality and the ever-widening wealth gap threaten to relegate the black community to perpetual underclass status. Those who wish to curtail investment education and career preparation further dim the prospects for upward mobility for our young people.”

The 155,000 jobs added in December were very close to the monthly average of 153,000 new jobs added during 2012. The economy has been steadily improving during the last two years of the Obama administration — the December 2011 jobless rate was 8.5 percent, in comparison to 7.8 percent for December 2012. But so many Americans lost work during the Great Recession that the number of jobs created will have to be a lot higher than 155,000 every month to really turn around the perception that the country is still limping along.

As the New York Times described it, the economy is “hiring fast enough to stay just ahead of population growth, but still too slow to make a sizable dent in the 12.2 million-person backlog of unemployed workers.”

The reaction to the numbers by the chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, Allan Krueger, was predictably optimistic: “While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

And the response from House Speaker John Boehner was predictably negative: “Too many Americans are still out of work and Washington has too much debt. Our oversized and overspent federal government is a drag on economic growth and job creation, and has burdened every American with a $50,000 share of its debt, and rising. This is the year we need to work together to solve these problems. In the coming months, the House will pass real spending cuts, meaningful reforms of the entitlement programs that are driving us deeper into debt, and a fairer, cleaner tax code. These are the keys to unleashing robust job growth and securing a better future for our children.”


What people are saying

17 thoughts on “155,000 New Jobs Added, But Black Unemployment Rises

  1. Stan Hughes says:

    They voted fro Obama they should enjoy the results.

  2. Pianki Bankole says:

    Yeah, Blacks can call the Kettle Black now thatObama is a lame duck.

  3. But Black Unemployment Rises now that's the part I didn't hear on black talk shows or read on black blogs on friday they all talk about the 155.000 jobs added but never said a word about black unemployment riseing, I wonder why!

  4. Dee Jay says:

    Why work when they can get free stuff from the government. Free check, food stamps, phone, housing…What's the point in getting a job?

  5. Marc Izaiah says:

    and would the "results" have been better for us had the racially tolerant Romney been in office? i think not.

  6. Marc Izaiah says:

    shut the fuck up. you clearly live in a bubble. more white people are on food stamps and government assistance than blacks! this is a historical fact. do something constructive with your life and read a book like When Affirmative Action Was White by Ira Katznelson, instead of placing blame on the oppressed in this racist society.

  7. COME OUT OF THE MATRIX= black Folks……..
    I would trade 1 Obama for 10,000 Black lives.

  8. Dee Jay says:

    Ha ha…You sound like on of those idiot ass bean pie sellers on the corner pushing nothing but stupidity and hate. Its fools like you that help keep blacks in poverty and waiting on the Massa to do for them what they could and should be doing for themselves. Your plantation mentality will not allow you to understand that as long as blacks depend on the government for handouts we will never rise above poverty and the horrible state we are currently in. You fail to realize that we are going backwards the more we depend on the government to take care of us. You that fool that white man uses to keep blacks on the plantation under the guise that he has our best interest at heart. Your a fool and fools like you only have one purpose in life and that is the keep other as stupid and in the dark as you are. Your an uniformed clown and should do black people a favor and go play in traffic. Massa's bend at the waist late night barn boy. How you like the feel of that white meat boy!!

  9. Hate to break the bad new black folks but you haven't seen anything yet. As soon as Obama and company ram through amnesty for 10 to 20 million illegal aliens unemployment is going through the roof and wages are going in the toilet. You will look back on the current unemployment rates as the good old days. Most of you voted for it, you got it and you richly deserve it.

  10. Marc Izaiah LOL sorry to break it to you but Romney knew more about economics the day he graduated high school than Obama will ever know. You voted for a failed president who has had higher unemployment for his entire first term than when he took office. Face it, you voted for him because of his color, because it certainly wasn't his competence or anything he did in his failed 1st term. As far as your unemployment rates, this is only the beginning. As soon as your precious savior legalizes millions of illegal aliens you will look back on this employment situation as the good old days. At least 10 million new legal workers competing for the same or fewer jobs that exist now. A bonanza for businesses and a disaster for workers. The most idiotic part is you KNEW he wanted to do this and you STILL voted for him. Stupid is as stupid does and you get an award for stupidity now. You voted for it and you deserve what you get.

  11. Marc Izaiah Sorry to break it to you but the per capita rate of blacks on food stamps is much higher than for whites. Of course more whites total are on food stamps than blacks because whites are 76% of the population and blacks are only 12.5% but in per capita terms blacks are VASTLY over represented in this category by about a factor of 2. The same way blacks do not commit the majority of homicides but they do commit homicide at 7 times the per capita rate of whites according the the Obama DOJ report – "Homicide Trends in the US". Good luck refuting that stat. You can't so don't even try. More of you thane ever are going to be on food stamps when your savior in the white house gets his dream legislation to legalize millions of illegals. Statistically blacks and hispanics tend to compete for the same jobs and your unemployment rates are going to sky rocket when millions of new legal workers are added to the workforce. You voted for it and you're going to get it.

    PS Learn how to write a coherent sentence without profanity, and that statistics are expressed in per capita terms and you might be taken a bit more seriously.

  12. Dee Jay Uh given the sky high black unemployment rates thoughout his whole 1st term it looks like Obama is who keeps blacks in poverty and he's going to make good and sure they stay there by adding about 10 million now illegal aliens to the legal workforce with his massive amnesty. Black unemployment is going to sky rocket. Most of them voted for it and they are going to get it. No sympathy here.

  13. They are probably aren't going to emphasize the fact that messiah has had higher unemployment for his whole first term than when he took office either. You also are not likely to hear about the inevitable effect on unemployment rates of Obama's plan to add millions of now illegal aliens to the legal work force by giving them amnesty. You think black unemployment and unemployment in general is high now? Just wait.

  14. Jamie Simmons says:

    Marc Izaiah What policy of Romney's only favored a particular race? He advocated tax relief for everyone which did not exclude blacks, & the day President Obama was re-elected, companies across the nation cut full-time workers to part time 40 hours to 29 hours to avoid complying with the healthcare law. Does companies cutting hours promote opportunity amongst the black community? Nope. It hurts opportunity. Companies are laying off employees because they do not want to comply with the healthcare law. Romney wanted its repeal. Lastly, I know you may not like him, but under President Bush the highest black unemployment was 9.7% now it is 14%. 40% of black teenage males are unemployed under Obama & black household wealth is down 50% under Obama's policies. The stimulus failed. The healthcare bill hurts black families. These are the facts. Black Americans will never reach full equality until they hold the democratic party accountable for their lack of progress. The 25 poorest cities in America all have 1 thing in common: A liberal democrat mayor. These are the facts.

  15. Jamie Simmons says:

    Marc Izaiah It is true that mostly white people collect welfare but also where people live affects their beliefs of who is getting most government assistance. The projects in Philadelphia have solar panels & look like middle class homes. This is house-dressing poverty. Tthe policies of affirmative action tell black Americans they aren't good enough because of the color of their skin. The correct name for affirmative action is "the soft bigotry of low expectations". I'd submit to you it makes employers fearful to hire black people. Would you hire someone because you are forced to? Would you hire someone if you knew they would sue you for their definition of discrimination, even if it didn't happen? In the public sector & in colleges & universities, people are often hired/accepted in the name of "diversity". Companies concern for "diversity" is second hand to those who will help them make a profit. If people want to get ahead, they should stop seeing themselves as "oppressed" & see themselves as just as capable & smart as any other color.

  16. Shelly Cooke says:

    I’m just going to keep it simple. Yes, racism – the word that Black America is afraid to touch now seems to be non-existent in the mind of the president. And he seems to enjoy scolding blacks; especially in front of non-black audiences. What is he trying to do? Embarrass the hell out of us? Obama says he wants to improve circumstances for all Americans. However, I wonder how sincere and realistic he is in his efforts when he makes a claims to be everyone’s president and that we all need to come together to create change; especially since this idea is not shared by all Americans. Other Americans could care less what blacks are going through. In fact, they are practicing institutionalized racism to keep us that way. And since I’ve read blogs concerning blacks and unemployment; in response to Obama’s reprimands about blacks’s whines and cries, other groups sound like parrots, saying things like I’m glad somebody told their lazy asses. Blacks have the highest unemployment rate and since Obama has been in office whenever the Black leaders seek him for a “black agenda” – he insists that we need to be “united” in the United States – something that has never happened in America since America has been a nation. And United to what end? Who else in this country has voiced a concern about the state Black Americans are in? Amongst the Americans in this country – whose circumstances are as deplorable as a group as Black Americans? Americans have always swept racial inequality under the rug. How are we ever going to be united as long as this issue is not properly addressed? Even though blacks are ravaged by social injustices and poverty – imprisoned, crime rate ridiculously high, education disproportionate and jobs limited – Americans who are citizens here and who are not black do not feel a moral sense of obligation to aid or even discuss the plight that African Americans in this country face. I am simply appalled at religious institutions and leaders lack of empathy for black people.

    When the president addresses the American black people he does so in a way that uncovers everything that’s wrong with our own communities as if we got that way all by ourselves. And gee thanks Mr. President for giving folks a reason to criticize the blacks even more vehemently. If he was concerned about blacks to this extent – what was wrong with pulling us to the side and discussing our situation in love; but instead he chose to air our dirty laundry to the whole world. He seems to be increasing the racial divide rather than closing it because people took that and ran with it! And how is uncovering all of our flaws helping blacks? I guess he’s perfect. And of course no other race has marital problems or dysfunctional families. And to add insult to injury he takes a crowd of black folks and preaches to us about how we need to clean up our own homes- having babies out of wed-lock and absentee fathers etc….and claims we are out of excuses. Our concerns are excuses now! There really is equal opportunity for all…blacks are just lying. Well the statisticians didn’t get the memo because they keep reporting high numbers of economic decline for us. Then he’s always claiming that we need to take responsibility for ourselves. And we need to do this with no financial support. What other group has ever pulled that off? Why does he heap all Americans in one category as if blacks are not and were never disproportionately affected by poverty and crime and ratty educational options? That is the problem. Why is he doing this to blacks who are largely a matriarchal society? The largest number of black Americans that supported him were black women. I heard somewhere that the average pay for a black woman in this country is $5.00 an hour. Obama won’t even address black women. He’s talking to men…many of who are in prison and don’t even have a right to vote. Go figure! And yet he just uses his all inclusive argument as if everyone started on a level playing field. I’m everybody’s president and rallying for change for all Americans okay?… but by the way – black people fix your own homes does not set well with me.

  17. Charles R. Lewis says:

    got news for YOU, Richard….your argument is pathetic. Those illegal are already here and working…giving them citizenship won't effect employment in the least.

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