African Americans Hit Hardest By Job Loss

Published by Pamela Gentry on Friday, March 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm.

By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Anaylst 

March 6, 2009 – African-American workers were hit the hardest by the continued plunge in the labor market where more than 651,000 jobs were lost in the month of February.  This was the largest loss of jobs in one month  in nearly 50 years. 

Since the recession began in December of 2007, 4.4 million jobs have disappeared.   Black folks who have lost their jobs or stopped looking are now part of historic double-digit unemployment statistics.  From January to February the overall population jumped from 7.6 to 8.1 percent: African-American workers soared to 13.4  percent. 

African-Americans aren’t alone; Hispanic unemployment rates also hit double-digits since January and are now at 10.9 percent.

During a conference call Friday, White House Chief of Staff,  Rahm Emanuel said the president’s stimulus plan has placed resources at the state and local levels that will help.  “I think the next stage is to pass the president’s budget,” he added.

It’s not clear how long a measureable turnaround could take, but Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president, echoed the president’s message.  “If the American people want it [change] they need to stay engaged, ” she said. 

Last Saturday President Barack Obama addressed the State of the Black Union symposium [via video-tape] held in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by Tavis Smiley, author and television host. Obama told those gathered,  “Tough times for America often mean tougher times for African Americans. This recession has been no exception,” Obama said. “The unemployment rate among Black Americans is a full five points higher than the rate among Americans as a whole. At the same time, we know that government cannot and will not succeed alone. It will take all of us stepping up and doing our part.”

The February unemployment numbers when compared to a year ago show the largest annual jump since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping track after World War III. 

With all the gloom and doom in the economy, housing and unemployment, a recent poll conducted for Smiley’s annual symposium found African Americans more optimistic than their White counterparts.

 Fifty-eight percent of Blacks said they expect their household financial situation to improve next year compared to only 30 percent of the general population.

When those polled were asked if their financial situation would worsen, 16 percent of African Americans believed their situation would; 29 percent of the general population anticipated more financial difficulty in 2010. 

Smiley and economic experts attending the conference attribute the optimism by outlook could be related to “pride and confidence” in the first African-American president. 

Emanuel defended the president’s ambitious agenda and noted the stimulus package will create jobs in urban areas where African Americans will benefit and job creation will come through small businesses and minority contracting.

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valor Said on

Red neck,
I have a TV but I read more, you should try it. Maybe,(doubtful) if you did, you would not sound so ignorant.
With your language, what are you like 14??
So you fell on hard times?
What a shock, I just can’t imagine someone not hiring you, you seem to be such a class act.


I know you don’t have a T.V. you would not have said I messed up with the word Breast. Butt Plug!! Valor huh? change it to valet !! now go get it!!

valor Said on

Red neck,
You’re a funny guy. I said 14, I should have said, 12.



Charles Said on

My thoughts are that we need to watch out for Obama and his liberal agenda. He favors programs for illegals over help for Americans! Maybe cuz he was alien to America before he lived with his white grand parents! Look at his wealfare/stimulus plan…it give money to stimulate the economy with projects in construction that mostly benefit illegals and gives money for education to mostly benifit illegals and money for social services that benifits illegals! Sooo you know what I’m saying? I’m trying to see where it helps us but I only see where it helps illegals stay here and take our jobs, homes and kids educations! Peace!

Ronnie Said on

Charles,Valor, Karen and Payton are right! RED NECK is a RED NECK and Sharon is just plain brainwashed like sooo many that drank the Obama cool-aid!
We need to look seriously at what “the man” Obama is doing to us! He is stimulating the illegal population with his wealfare programs and not giving us anything! He’s a well spoken white man possing! Even Oprah bought it but she’s as “house” as they come! Take a close look at the Obama plan and you will see that the majority of the “stimulus” does nothing for blacks in America and helps illegals stay here comfortably so they don’t have to go back to mexico. They stay and the corporations get cheap labor and government handouts for their familys! Rich white get mexicans to pay rents in the apartments they rent out while they move out of the inner cities to the suburbs or the shore and we get to sit at the back of the bus again! Pretty sneaky!

valor Said on

I was talking about your I.Q.
Not your imagination..

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may Said on

Red neck hunter,
your body parts don’t have nohting to do with your weight! your stupid and childish. You need to be somewhere praying because your time is coming to real soon. My black people on here don’t worry about whitie,HAVEN’T THEY LIED TO US LONG ENOUGH! WE ARE THE CHOSEN RACE BY GOD. PLEASE REREAD YOUR BIBLES AND UNDERSTAND THAT GOD HAS CHOSEN ISRAEL AS HIS PEOPLE! HISTORY THEY REWROTE, GOD CANNOT LIE….WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND AND COME TOGETHER AND HELP ONE ANOTHER…

wanda Said on

sounds more like he`s 4….and uneducated,he don`t know any better. poor thing.May!!! it`s just some people on this earth that just can`t comprehend so don`t waste your time with stupid people like red neck or who ever it is.

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