The truth about black unemployment in America

A local comparison of how things could also be better in Prince George’s County.

When looking at the population age 16 and older in the labor force, which includes people who are employed or actively looking for work (unemployed), inequities in employment for blacks were evident. Blacks had the highest unemployment rates at 10 percent with rates for whites, Hispanics, and Asian or Pacific Islander ranging from 6–7 percent (and not significantly different from each other). Unemployment rates for black residents were lowest in District 1 and highest District 7. In an equitable Prince George’s County, 11,800 more black residents would be employed. Figure 10 shows how many more black residents in each district would be employed if inequities in employment were addressed.

Kansas City is booming. Employers and investors have poured into the midwestern city since the recession. At least $1bn has gone into its sparkling new downtown, revitalized arts district and shiny new condos. So why is Sly James, its highly regarded outgoing mayor, so unhappy?

James, who steps down in July 2019, is leaving office with a sense of disappointment that despite Kansas City’s obvious accomplishments, the city’s recovery has left one large section of society behind: African Americans.

About 30% of Kansas City’s population is black. Every month, seemingly, Donald Trump uses Twitter to trumpet how well black people have done under his presidency. Nationwide African American unemployment is now 6.5%, down from a peak of 16.8% at the height of the recession.

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