by Charlotte Young
Around the country the job search is finally yielding results for many of exhausted job searchers. The unemployment rate is falling for the third consecutive month and in December 200,000 jobs in the private sector were created. Unfortunately, as The Seattle Medium points out, African Americans aren’t exactly benefiting from the job increase. In fact, the African American unemployment rate has increased from 15.5 to 15.8 percent, with black women experiencing the biggest loss.
Although the unemployment rate for African American women is 13.9 percent, lower than the male rate of 15.7 percent, this year African American men have actually gained jobs while African American women have lost them. This is partially due to what jobs are being created in the economy. Many companies are creating positions for construction and redevelopment jobs, roles predominately filled by men. Jobs that women tend to take such as teachers, social workers and nurses, are still being cut. In addition, about 23 percent of African Americans work at some level of the government. And at the federal, state and local level, government workers are being let go, not hired.
As so many are trying to get back on their feet, the gap in employment has also created a growing wealth gap. The Seattle Medium reports that the median wealth of American families has dropped to $20,500—compared to the Congressional gain of $725,000.
While the unemployment rate may continue to drop, it still encompasses about 13.1 million people still looking for work. In the competitive pool so large odds are tough for African American women.