Our college degrees aren’t saving us, after all. Here’s a whopper from March unemployment data: College educated blacks have lost jobs at twice the rate of their white counterparts during the recession. According to the Economic Policy Institute, joblessness among the black educated class shot up 4.5 percent in the past two years, reaching 7.2 percent in March. Among whites with degrees, joblessness increased as well, but by far less—it went up 2.2 percent, hitting 3.8 percent in March. As researcher Algernon Austin writes:
Some argue that the problem of joblessness among African Americans can be solved by education alone, but at every education level the unemployment rate for blacks exceeds that of whites. The disparities among the college-educated and other evidence strongly suggest that even if the black educational attainment distribution was exactly the same as the white distribution, blacks would still have a higher unemployment rate than whites. Without a renewed commitment to anti-discrimination in employment and job creation in black communities, high rates of black joblessness will likely persist.
While college-educated blacks posted the largest job loss numbers, Latinos showed the steepest decline. Unemployment went up nearly three-fold, to 5 percent, among Latinos with college degrees.