Young, Black, and Out of Work

The Washington Post released a hard-hitting report on the state of the young black worker.

In short, if you’re between the ages of 16-24 you are screwed. Actually, as someone who only recently turned 25, let me add that you’re not much bigger off in that demographic either. For black men the state of the job market is astounding. Joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old black men reached 34.5 percent in October, three times the rate for the general U.S. population. For black women, the rate is 26.5 percent while the national average is 15.4 percent.


The jobless rate for young black men and women overall is 30.5 percent.

Naturally, there are discrepancies in how blacks and whites are treated in the job market.


Via the Post:

For young blacks — who experts say are more likely to grow up in impoverished racially isolated neighborhoods, attend subpar public schools and experience discrimination — race statistically appears to be a bigger factor in their unemployment than age, income or even education. Lower-income white teens were more likely to find work than upper-income black teens, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, and even blacks who graduate from college suffer from joblessness at twice the rate of their white peers.

That makes me want to grocery shop at every relative’s house tomorrow.

Since the start of The Recession Diaries, here at The Root we’ve published a number of letters from young workers of color and their experiences since the start of the economic downturn. If you haven’t read them before I invite you to read some of the stories below and share your own.


Young, Broke, and Baby On Board

I Can’t Help But Cry

How Losing My Job Helped Me Learn To Live Again

Is Grad School A Good Place To Hide?

So Anxious

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.


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