Black unemployment dropped a whopping 3 percent in January, fueled by hiring of black men. Economists who’ve tracked black joblessness are waiting for the other shoe to drop–was it a statistical quirk, or is there a jobs renaissance afoot in black America?
Jobless demonstrators have stormed Capitol Hill this week, but are seeing (and recording) doors shut in their faces by elected officials, who must vote on an extension of unemployment benefits this month.
No, Obama can’t wave his magic wand and pass bills. But he can use the substantial bully pulpit he occupies to at least force the right conversation. He’s been doing so for weeks, and there are signs that it’s working.
Black unemployment is at levels comparable to the Great Depression in six cities. But then again, black populations in dozens of cities were in acute recessions before the national crisis ever began. The actual numbers are striking.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is building steam as protestors battle with NYPD over the right to peaceful assembly. That’s great, but the crisis at hand–crippling economic inequity–is once again lost in the din.
After months of debate over the nation’s debt, the central bank’s unprecedented interest rates announcement this week was entirely about the jobs crisis. The subtext was clear: politics, not economics stand in the way of recovery.