You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard the recent statistic that only one in four young black men in New York City has a job. While this is a terrible stat, it actually refers to the employment-population ratio (the percent of the working-age population that has a job), not the unemployment rate. The report, prepared by the Community Service Society of New York, has other unhappy news about this group — that the unemployment rate for African-American men in New York, ages 16 to 24, was 33.5 percent from January 2009 through June 2010, while the labor-force participation rate was 38 percent. Only one in three of all men overall (including all races) ages 16 to 24 has a job. When you look at all men of working age, 54 percent of black men ages 16 and up have a job in the city, as do 58 percent of white men. All is not lost, although the numbers demonstrate just how dire the economic situation is for many in New York, especially black men. It’s not just the brothers. Women with less than a high school diploma had the lowest labor-force participation rate of any group: 28 percent. Guess who they’re probably talking about? At this point, it’s all bad for the black community, and something has to be done. Numbers like these are catastrophic to the community in multiple ways, like stress and added financial and social pressure on people who are actually working. You can’t put a figure on that.
Read more at the New York Times.