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Shouldering the weight of unemployment

Despite reports of a rebounding economy, joblessness among African Americans – like gas prices – have continued to dip, then escalate.

Despite reports of a rebounding economy, joblessness among African Americans – like gas prices – have continued to dip, then escalate.

 
 (Courtesy Photo)

According to the latest U.S. Labor Department findings, as of February 2012 the unemployment rate for African Americans hovered at 14.1 percent compared to 13.6 for January, and 15.8 percent the month before.

With more than 200,000 jobs created last month by the economy, the fluctuations, which likewise impacted Latino workers, have been difficult to explain.

The jobless rate among African-American teens also increased to 17 percent in February – and overall, the statistics indicate there probably won’t be much change for African American or Latino job seekers as the year progresses.

African-American men appear to have gained jobs since February 2011 in manufacturing, construction and the service sector. And while government employment held steady this month, deep staff cuts in state and local government have hit African-American women particularly hard.

Government agencies, a sector that has slashed about 500,000 jobs since February 2010, employed just over one-quarter of African-American women before the recession began. That has caused the number of African-American women with jobs to fall, although that number held steady in February, Bill Rodgers, a Rutgers University economist told the “Huffington Post.”

(Special to the NNPA from the Washington Informer)

 

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