Politics

Black Unemployment Increases Under Obama

| by Heritage Foundation

By Ericka Andersen

It’s bad enough that nationwide unemployment has risen back to 9.1 percent, but for some Americans that rate is significantly higher.

Low-skilled workers, many of whom are African-American, are experiencing the worst of the down economy. The African-American unemployment rate stands at an outrageous 16.2 percent—not a number the Obama White House wants under the mantle of the nation’s first black president.

While CBS News reports that the national black unemployment rate is usually higher than the overall unemployment rate, these figures stand at Depression-era levels. Worse? Black teenagers have a devastating unemployment level of 41 percent.

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Burdensome business regulations, restrictive minimum wage laws, and a severe lack of certainty in the private sector hurt low-skilled workers’ job prospects the most. If things continue going the way of failed Keynesian policy, the outlook is grim. As Heritage’s Rea Hederman and James Sherk write:

Private-sector hiring is anemic for an economic recovery: Some 83,000 net private-sector jobs were created [last month], but the details are worrying. First, temporary service hiring (–1,200) was negative in the month of May, indicating slackening demand for labor. Second, the number of hours worked was flat again, indicating little strength in the labor market. The payroll survey was also revised downward by 39,000 jobs for the past two months. All three of these indicators show that there is little hope for a fast labor market recovery this summer.

Both employment surveys are converging and showing a labor market that has retreated over the past quarter. In the first quarter of 2011, private job creation exceeded 200,000 a month. Now the labor market is struggling to reach 100,000.

It’s been clear for some time that trillion-dollar spending sprees and dangerous borrowing policies are a myth of the hope that proved unfounded after the 2008 election. It’s past time for President Obama to admit economic defeat and start putting job growth before job-killing ideology. High unemployment rates lead to a deeply flailing economy and more government spending for unemployment benefits and welfare. It’s a vicious that cycle that must end to get Americans back to work.