About the Committee
Press Office
Addressing the Problem of African-American Male Unemployment
Thursday, March 8th, 2007

There is a growing crisis of joblessness for African-American men. Across the country, far too many black men – especially in urban areas – face difficulty finding and keeping work. The numbers are staggering and getting worse.  As far back as 1980, a 20-year old black man was almost twice as likely to be unemployed than a white male of the same age.  Even during the economic boom of the 1990s, the annual labor force participation rate of African American males over 20 dropped from 75 percent in 1990 to 72 percent in 1999, and it remained between three and four percentage points below that of white males with few exceptions. The recent downturn in manufacturing jobs will exacerbate African-American male unemployment numbers because they make up a large share of those jobs.

The JEC will examine federal policy solutions, such as job training and social insurance reform, that will help us meet the challenges of this serious problem.  The landmark JEC hearing will mark the first significant effort by the committee to address the economic status of African Americans since 1990 and it comes on the eve of the release of new employment figures by the federal government.  As of January 2007, the unemployment rate for African American men age 20 and older is 7.5%.

Opening Statements: Senator Schumer's Opening Statement
  Congresswoman Maloney's Opening Statement
  Senator Brownback's Statement
  Senator Clinton's Statement Submitted for the Record
  Senator Obama's Statement Submitted for the Record
Witnesses: Dr. Ronald B. Mincy, Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, School of Social Work, Columbia University
  Robert Carmona, President and CEO, STRIVE National
562 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Press Advisory:

Staggering African-American Male Unemployment Rates a Hidden Shame Never Talked About in U.S., Joint Economic Committee Hearing to Examine Crisis and Urge Solutions

Fact Sheet: The Crisis of Black Male Joblessness
Listen to the Hearing