Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Michigan, African Americans Have Double the Jobless Rate of Whites

In Michigan, African Americans have double the jobless rate of whites

Updated: Friday, April 29, 2011, 11:05 AM
By Jackie Headapohl

African Americans in Michigan have double the unemployment rate of whites.

The pain of joblessness in Michigan has been particularly severe for African Americans, according to a new research brief from the Economic Policy Institute.

African Americans in Michigan have experienced unemployment rates of 20 percent or higher in virtually every quarter since early 2009, including a 2010 annual unemployment rate of 23.4 percent, rivaling the top unemployment rates seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

By contrast, Michigan’s white unemployment rate declined from a peak of 12.7 percent in the last quarter of 2009 to 9.5 percent in the last quarter of 2010.

In fact, the unemployment trend for blacks has been so bad that their lowest rate of 12.2 percent in 2008 nearly matched the recession’s highest rate of 12.7 percent in 2009 for whites.

In 2010, Michigan’s African American unemployment rate was 47 percent higher than the 15.9 percent national average of unemployment for African Americans.

"The Michigan economy has a long way to go to a solid recovery. With the future of the U.S. auto industry remaining precarious, Michigan’s economic future will continue to be fragile for some time," the EPI writes."The pain and uncertainty of the Great Recession has been felt disproportionately by Michigan’s African American workforce. Until the Michigan economy gets solidly on track, these disparities are likely to persist."

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