Black America: Sinking to a New 'Bottom'?

"Alarming Black unemployment patterns indicate that “a perfect storm of racial disadvantage” has occurred. “Virtually nothing prevents the boss from acting out his prejudices and greed with impunity.” There’s nothing 'post-racial' about the current crisis for Black workers"

Glen Ford @ BAR - Corporate economists have lately grown fond of saying the economy is "turning the corner," but for African Americans, it's shaping up as a long and very scary ride downhill. Official labor statistics show Black unemployment rose to 16.5 percent in March, up from 15.8 percent the month before, while white joblessness remained steady at 8.8 percent. The figures are in line with the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute's prediction that Black unemployment will hit 17.2 percent by the third quarter of this year -- the highest level in a quarter century. Not only is the Great Recession nowhere near over for Black America, there are indications that the contorted economy is finding a new "bottom" for African Americans to inhabit.

When the previous bottom fell out, Blacks fell farther and faster than whites, Asians and Latinos, and from an even more precarious economic position. As Dedrick Muhammad, of United for a Fair Economy reported in February 2009, "African Americans never emerged from the 2001 recession." Black households lost additional ground to whites and Latinos between 2000 and 2005 and were plummeting in real and relative terms even before the economy "officially" went off the cliff in December, 2007. When the crash came, the "Black" economy entered unknown more.


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