Thursday, July 16, 2009

U.S. must address high minority jobless rates: think-tank

"Minority jobless rates have spiked sharply higher than those of whites in some states, according to a report released on Wednesday, prompting calls for new job growth efforts and the possible revival of a funding mechanism long opposed by Wall Street."

"The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, issued a report analyzing racial and ethnic jobless rates in the 50 states. It said the 18-month recession has erased many recent gains for minorities because manufacturing, construction and trade jobs, often the easiest for them to obtain, are melting away."

"At the end of the first quarter of this year, Alabama's black jobless rate soared to 15.1 percent from 5.3 in the 2007 fourth quarter. For whites, however, the rate rose to 5.8 percent from 3 percent."

"For blacks, Louisiana had the worst comparable rate. They were three times more likely than whites to be jobless. In Alabama, New York, Mississippi and Texas, blacks were more than twice as likely to be unemployed."

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