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The Staggering Facts Behind Why Nearly Half of Chicago’s Black Men Are Unemployed and Out of School


Reports from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute reveal 47 percent of Chicago’s young Black men are unemployed and not in school. Compared to young Hispanic and white men at 20 and 10 percent respectively, the striking data made for a principal discussion at the fifth annual hearing about youth joblessness hosted by the Chicago Urban League at its headquarters.

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Alternative Schools Network — a nonprofit organization centered on providing economic resources to Chicago’s dissipated youth  — requested the data from Chicago’s Great Cities Institute and issued a statement on the unemployment figures.

“We are seeing the results of this monumental policy failure every day, as the shootings mount up and the funerals multiply,” said Jack Wuest, executive director of the ASN. “The new data that’s being presented draws a straight line between the unemployment crisis for youth and the escalating violence in Chicago’s hardest hit neighborhoods. I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating: Investments in creating meaningful work for these youth will pay dividends immediately and for years to come. A failure to do so has had and will continue to have dire consequences for our city and our state.”

In 2014, 41 percent of Black youth in general were jobless and out of school.   That is “nearly 7 percent higher than the rate in Illinois, nearly 50 percent higher than New York City, nearly 40 percent higher than Los Angeles, and nearly 44 percent higher than the U.S. rate,” the report explains.

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The report also reveals the highest concentration of youth unemployment is in neighborhoods on the city’s South and West sides, such as Fuller Park, Englewood, East Garfield Park and North Lawndale, each of which are predominantly Black. The lowest concentration is in mostly white neighborhoods on the North and Northwest sides.

And these numbers aren’t just disappointing for young adult men. Black teenagers in Chicago, even those enrolled at school, still faced staggering unemployment rates. Some of these students need jobs to support themselves and/or their families.  In 2014, 16- to 19-year-olds in Chicago, 12.4 percent of Blacks, 15.0 percent of Hispanic or Latinos, and 24.4 percent of Whites (non-Hispanic or Latinos) were employed. This, compared to the national figure of 28.8 percent, implies that youth in Chicago are less likely to be employed. Including people who are in school but don’t work, the joblessness rate is 57 percent in Chicago, compared with 51 percent nationally. More than 80 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds in Chicago are not working.

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Deshawn Muldrow, 17, who lives in North Lawndale and is a senior at CCA Academy, a charter school in his neighborhood, has been struggling to find a job to raise money for college and help support his family. His mother is sick and doesn’t work, he said, so his grandmother works at a senior citizens home to support the three of them. Muldrow — who wants to study math or statistics in college — has been applying to fast-food chains and retail stores. After a few failed interviews, he is still looking.

Johnathan Allen, 24,  said a walk down the street is enough to testify how joblessness pillages Black communities.

“It’s right there in your face; you don’t need statistics,” Allen said.

Combining men and women, 41 percent of Black 20- to 24-year-olds were out of work and out of school in Chicago in 2014, compared with 18.7 percent of Hispanics and 6.7 percent of whites in the same age group.

“In the process of assembling, organizing and analyzing this data, one thing became very clear to us,” Great Cities Institute Director Teresa Cordova said in a news release. “We are losing a generation of youth who have no opportunity to work in their neighborhoods. It is a tragedy for those youth and it is a tragedy for the communities they live in and the city as a whole.”

Plus jobs program, the University of Chicago Crime Lab found a 43 percent reduction in violent crime arrests for youths who secured eight-week-long part-time summer jobs with the program, compared with a control group of kids who didn’t, and the positive effect lasted 18 months after the program ended, said Kelly Hallberg, scientific director at the Crime Lab.

Wendy Bueno, 19, a high school senior who is also taking college courses, said she searched for a job for two years before becoming employed at Starbucks, thanks to a friend. Part of the delay was because she avoided working in the fast-food industry.  She said even the dollar stores she applied to were looking for experience.

“How do you want us to gain experience if you don’t give us the chance?” Bueno asked.

What people are saying

11 thoughts on “The Staggering Facts Behind Why Nearly Half of Chicago’s Black Men Are Unemployed and Out of School

  1. Illegal Sanctuary Chicago and Illegal Sanctuary Cook County has put black people out of work. There are an estimted 4 million illegal aliens in Cook County. The Irish/Catholic political machine instituted this lawless embrace of illegal aliens; partly because the Democrat party has betrayed Black citizens in favor of foreign illegal cheap labor; but also the Irish Catholic political mafia gives illegal aliens favor because they are Catholic. Chicago is a Irish, Polish, Italian Catholic stronghold.

    Resources that should go to educate, train, and employ the 44% black Chicago population, are redirected to settle, educate, train, employ, and give homeowner assistance to the endless flow of illegals that land in Cook County every month. Democrats have used their usual black Judas goats to deceive and mis-direct black Chicago, while bleeding every dime possible out of black citizens at every level of life.

    Rahm Emanuel closed 53 schools in primarily black neighborhoods(and are now planning to close more), claiming a budget shortfall. Yet one month later he uncermoniously announced plans to build two state-of-the-art schools in illegal alien neighborhoods. Black homeowners are being forced to pay for the education of the children of illegals, while the CPS intentionally disposses black children of their education in their own neighborhoods. Right now 66% of the children in CPS speak English as a second language.

    It is estimated that there are 100,000 cartel backed Mexican gang members in Cook County. These gangs are running drugs and guns to younger and younger black gang members who have been waging lethal territorial wars ever since sanctuary Chicago was illegally instituted. These gang wars' collateral damage are innocent black men, women and children, in addition to the targeted criminals. The Englewood alderman complained on "Chicago Tonight" that Chuy had dropped six thousand pounds of drugs in his district in one month alone. Black Chicago is being systematically terrorized, resulting in a violent reputation that negates businesses from investing even in middle class homeowning black communities. All of this results in fewer jobs for black men, no matter what their age.

    The answer is self-governance via a representative neighborhood congress, that would orchestrate planned political maneuvers; that will put forth well-vetted black candidates for public office; and that would structure neighborhood councils that control education, business, food gardening, beautification, arts and entertainment in each member neighborhood.

  2. Your response is ridiculous! There are more than 4 million black people in Chicago, and by your definition, those who are out of work are "lazy."

  3. N Cory Gable US whites represent 42% of the US poor, but take in a whopping 69% of the relief revenues issued by our various governments. Black Americans are 24% of the US poor, but take in only 14% of the relief revenues issued annually by our various governments. Whites not only have both their hands out, but are filling them at a rate five times more than black Americans.

    White women, whose out of wedlock birth rate is 40%, represents millions more live babies than black women's statistics; simply because white women are a larger proportion of the population. BTW: 15% of those white out of wedlock births, are fathered by black men.

    Don't give me that "we whites" business, you Johnny Come Lately delusional enraged political novice. Black men have fought, bled and died in every war ever launched to found this nation, and every war fought to maintain her freedoms. The first man to die in the skirmish that led to the Revolutionary War, was a black man named Chrispus Attucks. Right now black men and women are serving this nation at twice the average of any other identiy group. Black men standing in hip-high mud, built the White House and the Capitol buildings. A Black man designed the street plan for the Washington, DC. Black people built infastructure of this nation.This nation's economy was built on the backs of and the sale of millions upon millions black people. The NY Stock Exchange was started with the sale of black bodies. The first registered black child birth was recorded in 1643. You don't have the cultural authority to condescendingly speak of what whites have "given" African Americans. This is our nation. Long before your ancestors likely landed upon these shores, African Americans were here building the American opportunities you enjoy.
    You sorely need to observe Black History month. Stop making a fool of yourself and visit the websites on Black Americans in the American Revolution; Black inventors and scientists; Black athletes(who brought home 43% of the UA gold medals in the last Summer Olympics); Black music, black musicians and Black American popular culture, the foundation of American popular culture.

    Speaking of violence, take a look at what that average white US citizen is capable of…;_ylt=A0LEVjBW2q5WDIwAy4QnnIlQ?p=lynching+photos&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&fr2=piv-web&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

  4. N Cory Gable says:

    Brenda Verner yup , cant read, cant follow simple directions, high, but above all , raised from the cradle to believe that the white man has kept them down. So long as the government keeps paying you people to pump out babies before youre even legal to drink beer , you will keep lounging around, watching daytime television , hanging around the corners, going nowhere fast. The taxpayers are beyond fed up with the " urban" population and their costly disobedience and misbehavior. Next November , the White House will have a business man inside and the free ride will be soon ending. Well intentioned White peoples efforts to give you handouts have resulted in nothing but teen births, illegitimacy and welfare as a way of life and unending violence. Sorry Miss Brenda , free rides over. TRUMP LANDSLIDE 2016. We are tired of your communities BULLSHIT, honey.

  5. N Cory Gable says:

    Self governance? The black politicians are the most easily corrupted! Kind of like your pastors; any coincidence they all dress like pimps? Your bullshit excuses are your own, Free rides over baby. Time to pay the piper.

  6. N Cory Gable Self-governance via a representative congress does not include politicians nor those connected to politicians.

    So you think black politicians are more easily corrupted than white politicians?
    You either just arrived here, or you are so ignorant of the nature of American politics, that it's not worth having a conversation with you.

    "…like your pastors, any coincidence they all dress like pimps?" Would you rather they wear robes and molest children, like most of your pastors? You are obviously filled with so much venom that you couldn't accept the truth if it choked you. BTW: My pastor has a Ph.D. in Divinity, and a medical degree; he is a hemotologist who specializes in catastrophic childhood diseases. He dresses in regular suits.

    Your raging ignorance reveals your lack of education. Everything black Americans have gotten, has been paid for with centuries of misery, rivers of blood, and endless struggle.

  7. N Cory Gable you are a fool and have been sucessfully programmed and indoctrinated

  8. N Cory Gable says:

    Brenda Verner those statistics are completely inaccurate. The majority of this country is exhausted by the foolishness of the blacks. Your young men keep killing one another and the women abort half their kids and the mayhem is still an epidemic. If you are one of the good ones, keep behaving, you'll have nothing to worry about. As for the other 90% , the end of the free ride is just around the corner.

  9. N Cory Gable says:

    Damita LeShore behave yourself

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