February’s higher-than-anticipated U.S. jobless rate of 8.1 percent shook America on Friday morning. It was a stat not seen since December 1983 — except in black America, which has had rates above 8.1 percent for all but six months since 2001.
The unemployment rate for blacks in the United States hit 13.4 percent in February, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday.
“Unfortunately, the black unemployment rate is typically about twice the white unemployment rate,” said Algernon Austin, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute’s Race, Ethnicity and Economy Program.
Hispanics have had the highest percentage-point increase in unemployment since the beginning of the recession, disproportionately working in the housing construction market that tanked.
Blacks and Hispanics are overrepresented in sectors that have taken the hardest hits in the recession — construction and manufacturing.
Question: will this sad statistic be reported by major news media as a front-page headline/top story — “women and minorities hardest hit” — as it most certainly would have been if George W. Bush or John McCain were President?