Wednesday, January 14, 2009

African American unemployment outpaces others

Martin Jefferson worked 11 years as a bank teller and thought he had finally found the perfect career–until he was laid off October 12.

Jefferson, 36, now depends on unemployment benefits to help him support his wife and two children. His bank position was among the more than 50,000 jobs lost last year in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

But Jefferson is not alone when it comes to being Black and unemployed. In December, 11.9 percent of Blacks, nationally, were employed, which also was the rate for Black men.

Among whites, 6.6 percent were unemployed, nationally, in December. For white men it was 6.5 percent.
And in 2007, Black unemployment peaked at 10.7 percent while whites were 4.4 percent and Hispanics 5.6 percent

One human resources professional says that education is a key reason why so many Blacks –especially men–are unemployed.

“Unfortunately, a lot of Blacks did not have the opportunity to further their education after high school so they lack the necessary knowledge needed to obtain white-collar jobs, such as office work jobs, which typically pays more,” said Sherese Johnson, a Chicagobased human resources management consultant. “And with our Black men, we must remember that a lot of them have criminal records so that also hinders them when searching for employment.”
Go to school young men and do well! I doubt that you'll regret it later. Choose wisely or better yet if college isn't for you at lease choose something where you'll have to go to school and get some form of training.

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