EPI – African Americans and Hispanics suffer disastrously high unemployment rates in metro areas

Two new EPI briefing papers by Algernon Austin, director of EPI’s program in race and ethnicity detail the catastrophic effect the nation’s jobs crisis has had on African American and Hispanic communities across the nation. In High black unemployment widespread across nation’s metropolitan areas, Austin compares the post-recession unemployment rates of 2010 to those before and at the end of the recession (2007 and 2009) in 31 metro areas.

At 24.7 percent, Detroit led the nation in black unemployment in 2010. Likewise, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis all had black unemployment rates over 20 percent. Sun Belt cities were once a refuge for African Americans seeking employment before the recession, but the metropolitan areas of Charlotte, Miami, Tampa, and Las Vegas all had unemployment rates above the national black average and were among the highest rates of all the metro areas examined.

The Huffington Post used the paper’s findings to create this interactive slideshow depicting the 10 cities where black unemployment is rising fastest.

Hispanic unemployment rates in metropolitan areas around the country had similarly discouraging findings. Of the 38 places studied, 18 saw an increase in Hispanic unemployment of over one percentage point since 2009. Providence, Rhode Island had the highest unemployment for Hispanics with a rate of 25.2 percent, followed by Hartford, Connecticut at 23.5 percent.

This week’s Economic Snapshot further illustrates the high rates of Hispanic unemployment across the nation.

The metropolitan areas with the highest rates of Hispanic unemployment were much higher than the national Hispanic average of 12.5 percent and even rival the peak national unemployment rate during the Great Depression.

“Without a strong federal jobs program, the pain of very high unemployment is likely to be long-lasting for most of America’s metropolitan blacks and Hispanics,” said Austin.

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About faithadvocatesforjobs

Public Policy Intern, Interfaith Worker Justice
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