In a Washington Times column on March 29, Donald Lambro became one of the latest critics of the Obama Administration’s record on black unemployment. He is just the latest to call attention to the high unemployment rate in the black community. Since his reelection, President Obama has received an increasing number of complaints, particularly among his supporters, about the lack of progress addressing the issue.
NAACP president Ben Jealous, in an appearance on Meet the Press Jan. 27, noted
And right now when you look at joblessness in this country, you know, the country is back to pretty much where it was when this president started. White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black folks are doing a full point worse …
The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Marcia Fudge, had this to say on March 8
With sequestration expected to further reduce public sector jobs where African Americans are heavily concentrated, and with significant cuts to unemployment benefits, workforce development, housing and health and human services programs, minorities and struggling communities will bear the burden of reversal to any progress in the making.
Mild criticism, perhaps, but it is criticism from an unexpected sector. Obama is routinely castigated by his opponents, such as Dr. Ben Carson. The prominent neurosurgeon told the Christian Post on March 8
If President Obama wants to be a hero in the African-American community, he should do something to alleviate the “abominable” black unemployment rate in America, says renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson.
The latest data on black unemployment is grim. Among black men ages 16 to 24, the unemployment rate is 33 percent. Black women in the same age group have a 26 percent unemployment rate. The unemployment rate for blacks over age 16, of both sexes, is 13.8 percent. That rate is double the rate for whites of 6.8 percent and far higher than the Hispanic unemployment rate of 9.6 percent.
Just under 2.6 million blacks were unemployed in Feb. 2013. Another 16 million were employed and 11.6 million were not in the labor force. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that for 2012, 2.9 million blacks were employed part time and 12.9 million full time.
The best economic times for blacks were not so long ago. The modern record for black employment was set in Aug. 2007, when 16.17 million blacks were employed. That year also saw the record for the most blacks with full time employment, 13.79 million. The lowest black unemployment rate in modern times was in 2000, when the rate fell to 7.3 percent from Sept. to Nov. In Jan. 2007, the rate fell to 7.6 percent for in the month of August.