Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Why Has Black Unemployment Risen (Yes, Risen!) In The "Bush Boom"?

Recent employment reports show steady, if undramatic, increases in hiring. Some Administration pundits talk, without irony, about a "Bush Boom."

The "jobless recovery" may be over for some—most notably Hispanics. But the story is very different for Black Americans. Blacks are faring worse than they did at a similar stage in the previous recovery at the end of Bush I’s term. Amazingly, thirteen quarters into the "Bush Boom," Black unemployment has risen.

Here are the comparative results for the first 13 quarters of this economic recovery as compiled by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI): ["African Americans in the current recovery," April 6, 2005.]

Total unemployment rate: down 0.2 percentage points now; down 0.4 points in the early 1990s recovery

-White unemployment: down 0.4 points now; down 0.4 points then
-Black unemployment: Up 0.8 points now; down 0.6 points then
-Black male unemployment: Up 1.4 points now; down 0.7 points then
-Black female unemployment: Up 0.3 points now; down 0.5 points then

Black unemployment generally responds to changing economic conditions more quickly than white unemployment, reflecting the over-representation of Blacks in manufacturing and other highly cyclical sectors of the economy. The trend held in the early 1990s. It abruptly ended with Bush II’s recovery.


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