The overall jobless rate for May 2015 is 5.5% with 280,000 jobs added. But don’t get excited yet!
Black unemployment (which had fallen last month for the first time since the 2008 recession to single digits), rose from 9.6% to the familiar double-digit numbers, at 10.2%.
What is the problem?
“Data shows that 12.4 percent of African American college graduates between 22 and 27 years old were unemployed compared to the national unemployment rate for white college students — whose unemployment rate was at a steady 5.6 percent — in the same age bracket. There is also a substantial difference in the median weekly paycheck between the races. A white college grad earned $1,132 while a black college grad earned $895.”
If Black youth are completing college with degrees in hand (as are other minorities), why isn’t it reflected in these employment gains? Why isn’t it reflected in their paychecks (if they get one)? Are they graduating with the ‘wrong’ degrees? Are they not applying for employment? If they are working, does their work not pay the same as whites?
While there is a great deal of energy being spent on protests against police brutality, these protests are not putting food on the table and roofs over the heads of children suffering under the burden of unrelenting poverty.
Some of that positive energy and motivation needs to be devoted to demanding a change in public policy that prioritizes black joblessness and under-employment – two major contributors to inequality and marginal lives.
Something’s going on, and the black president, black civil rights leaders and black politicians need to work with other power-brokers to find the root cause and address long-term black unemployment. It’s time to stop going back to the tired excuse, ‘black unemployment has always been high’!
Failed policies and politics that whine about ‘income inequality’ would direct us away from the root cause of poverty and income inequality –lack of good paying jobs. And then the root cause of lack of good paying jobs is (I’m going to say it!) immigration (illegal and legal). But for now, let’s focus on the president’s reigning project, illegal immigration.
Our political leaders would have us be receptive to receiving with open arms millions of illegal immigrants (oh I’m sorry, was I suppose to use ‘undocumented’?) into the work force. You know, to bring them out of the shadows.
How does this make sense? The Black American worker IS the one in the shadows!
From the first quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2012, most of the net increase in the number of people working went to immigrants. Acknowledging that the presence of both legal and illegal immigrant workers in the labor market makes the U.S. economy (GDP) an estimated 11 percent larger ($1.6 trillion) each year; doesn’t remove the fact that to generate the surplus of $35 billion, immigration reduces the wages of Americans in competition with immigrants by an estimated $402 billion a year, while increasing profits or the incomes of users of immigrants by an estimated $437 billion.
Yes you read that right. Any surplus generated goes to immigrants! Not Americans!
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) states…
“A large share of employment growth was going to immigrants well before President Obama took office. However, he has taken steps to increase the level of job competition from foreign-born workers:
- He offered work authorization to an estimated two million illegal immigrants who arrived in the country before age 16 — nearly 200,000 of whom have applied so far.
- When auditing employers who hire illegal workers, the administration has not detained the illegal workers as a matter of policy, allowing them to take new jobs.
- The administration called on the Supreme Court in 2010 to strike down Arizona’s law requiring employers to verify the legal status of new workers.”
So although we can’t blame President Obama for all the negative outcomes of increased immigration, he isn’t helping the American worker, especially not the Black American worker.
By increasing the supply of workers, immigration reduces the wages for Americans in competition with immigrants. Hardest hit are the young, the less-educated, and minorities.
One of the most frequent comments made by those who support immigration (legal and illegal) is that immigrants take jobs that Americans will not do or they take high tech jobs that we are unable to fill with American workers.
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has also found that immigrants have landed employment in all areas of the job market; including lower-skilled jobs such as maintenance, construction, and food service; middle-skilled jobs like office support and health care support; and higher-skilled jobs, including management, computers, and health care practitioners.
“Immigration explains a big chunk of the “jobless recovery” characterized by high unemployment and chronic high underemployment among teenagers, recent graduates, minorities, the disabled, and Americans in their 50s and 60s who face what amounts to job and hiring discrimination.”
Yet the first black president said this yesterday, ““Some folks are still fighting against these actions (speaking on immigration), “I’m going to keep fighting for them. Because the law is on our side. It’s the right thing to do. And it will make America stronger.” What he’s speaking of fighting to do is to bring illegal immigrants “out of the shadows.” Yes, he wants to increase the supply of workers!
When is the emphasis going to be on bringing American workers out of the shadows? Specifically in this case Black American workers!
I repeat… how does this make sense?