Dag: Unemployment Rate Triples for Black Grads

June 3, 2014  |  

A study recently released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research says the job market isn’t fairing well for young African Americans. In fact, the unemployment rate tripled for Black grads, coming in at 12.4 percent.

This number reflects those grads between the ages of 22 and 27 who earned their diplomas. Prior to the nation’s economic downturn, the unemployment rate for Black graduates was 4.6 percent.

Many experts have varying reasons for this steep downturn in companies hiring African Americans. Authors of this study say the findings show that there is “disproportionate negative effects of economic downturns” on all workers, but says there is “ongoing racial discrimination” which continues to hold many people of color who hold higher education degrees back.

Overall African American’s unemployment rate has been twice that of White people. And underemployment rates for Blacks have also steadily faired worse than white workers. Even the quality of work (salary) falls notably under each racial counterpart’s.

John Schmitt, senior economist at the Center for Economic Research and Development says there is “overwhelming evidence that discrimination remains a major feature of the labor market.”

And this might be true, especially for Black men who are statistically less likely to receive a call back from potential employers than equally qualified White men.

While the job market remains tough for everyone, especially Blacks, the study’s authors do say that obtaining a college degree is, indeed, beneficial. “College degrees do have value. What we are trying to show here is that this is not about individuals. There is simply overwhelming evidence that discrimination remains a major feature of the labor market.”

The survey concludes with a statement worth noting for those new to the job search market: “Young Black workers with college degrees suffered less than their less-educated counterparts, but their poor outcomes, even as the economy has picked up, raise serious questions about economic solutions.”

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