By the Numbers: Is Racial Discrimination to Blame?
The unemployment rate for this group in some states, however, is above the national average. For instance, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) the unemployment rate for blacks in the District of Columbia is five times that of whites. Wisconsin, Nevada and Michigan have unemployment rates for African-Americans of 19.9, 16.1, and 15.8 percents, respectively.
This translates to one out of every five black Wisconsinites as unemployed in 2014. The issue goes beyond Wisconsin. As of the first quarter of 2015, it is estimated that as many as 12 million blacks were not in the labor force, according to a CNS News report.
This disparity is similar across the country. In fact, in 20 out of 24 states where the populations are large enough to allow for accurate estimates revealed the unemployment rate for African-Americans to be more than double the white rate. The smallest discrepancy in unemployment rates between African-Americans and whites is in Massachusetts.
Sociologists, economists and other experts point to several factors for the high unemployment rate among black males.
- A contraction of public-sector jobs due to the recession
- Lack of quality training
- High incarceration rates
- Discrimination and unequal access to social networks
Beyond this, the economic recession generally hit men harder than women – for every 1 female job lost 2.5 male jobs were lost. An Al Jazeera America feature on this very topic published in 2014 noted that, although the unemployment rate in New York state and New York city were not that dissimilar from the national average, the unemployment rate for black men was double that average.
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