WASHINGTON, D.C. – In observance of Black History Month, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), Chaired by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), released a fact sheet detailing the economic well-being of the African American community. The Great Recession caused devastating effects to the African American community, evidenced by record-high unemployment which hit a high of 16.7 percent. Although the unemployment rate for African American workers remains significantly higher than it was when the recession began, the decline in January to 13.6 percent may signal future improvement in the community’s employment situation.
Senator Casey said, “As we celebrate the achievements of the African American community this month, we must not lose sight of the challenges African American workers continue to face in the wake of the Great Recession. Last month’s drop in the unemployment rate was good news, but there are still 2.5 million unemployed workers within the African American community. Long-term unemployment is also a serious concern, as African American workers make up 19 percent of the overall unemployed population and 26 percent of those who have been out of work for 99 weeks or more. This unfair disadvantage leads to long-term consequences, including higher poverty rates. More than one-quarter of the African American population lived in poverty in 2010. Too many African Americans are unable to afford basic necessities such as food and health insurance. We must take additional actions to help workers in those communities hardest hit so that they can find employment, move out of poverty, and regain their economic footing.”
Click here to view the fact sheet.
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