Greek austerity? Eurozone collapse? What’s this got to do with the financial slog so many communities of color are still facing in the U.S.? For starters, it could make things a lot harder, soon. Imara Jones offers a primer–and preventive steps.
The sudden, sharp drop in black unemployment that set economists buzzing in January appears to have in fact been so much statistical noise. The [February 2012 job numbers](http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm) are out and black unemployment went right back up, to 14.1 percent (roughly double that of white unemployment, a disparity that has held for decades).
Mitt Romney and President Obama have slugged it out over the Detroit bailout. It’s clear at this point that the bailout revived the auto industry. But thus far, it’s not been enough to heal the most ailing part of Michigan’s economy: black employment.
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?
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.
Amid all the deficit and campaign talk, it’s easy to forget the foreclosure crisis continues to destroy neighborhoods. Community organizers in East Oakland got fed up and delivered the dirty problem to its source.
The president vowed to make the rich “pay their fair share.” Let’s hope he’s serious. But either way, a new campaign launches today to make sure both parties must care as much about homeowners and workers as they do bankers in 2012.