Underemployment Plagues African Americans

According to a new study from the National Urban League, underemployment affects blacks more than whites or Latinos. 

Job seekers wait in line at Kennedy-King College to attend a job fair hosted by the city of Chicago, Nov. 9, 2012.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

It is commonly accepted that unemployment is a huge obstacle for African Americans in their walk toward economic progress. However, underemployment is an even bigger problem for them, especially in comparison with their white and Hispanic counterparts, the Associated Press reports.

According to the National Urban League's latest annual State of Black America report, "One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America," black Americans are underemployed at a rate of almost 21 percent, in comparison with about 18 percent of Hispanic workers and 12 percent of white workers. Underemployment is classified as those who are unemployed or working part time but want full-time jobs.

"Many Americans are being left behind, and that includes African Americans and Latinos, who are being disproportionately left behind by the job creation that we see," NUL President Marc Morial said, the AP notes.

The study also pointed out disparities in the unemployment rate, with blacks twice as likely to be unemployed, at 12 percent, as their white counterparts, at 5.8 percent.

That is why the NUL has been targeting economic measures being considered in Congress, such as the $10.10 increase in minimum wage proposed by President Barack Obama. "More must be done in postrecession America to try to help people and help communities close these gaps," Morial said.

Read more at the Associated Press.

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