College-educated Blacks Suffering in RecessionApril 27th, 2009
With the economic crisis kicking America’s butt for 15 straight months, it’s Black folks with four-year college degrees who’re feeling the most pain. While there were relatively few college-educated Whites without jobs – about 3.8 percent, according to national employment figures for March 2009 – there were nearly twice as many jobless Black degree-holders (7.2 percent). That is a 4.5 percent higher than a year earlier, when the recession officially began. Job-holding Latinos and Asian Americans with bachelor’s degrees (both at 5 percent) fared worse than Whites but better than Blacks. The findings suggest that while education is viewed as an avenue to decent job, particularly for African Americans, it cannot be viewed as a surefire means to employment. In fact, at every level of education, Blacks are far more likely to be without a job than their White counterparts and, according to labor experts, even if Blacks earned the same number of degrees as Whites they would still have significantly higher unemployment. This reality, they say, begs for a higher commitment to anti-discrimination efforts in employment and job creation in the Black community.