06 Jul 2012 Continued High Unemployment Not a “Step in the Right Direction”
Another very bad jobs report was issued today, leaving many with the fear that the economy is beginning to slow down again after some indications that the nation might be in recovery.
Project 21 member Derryck Green notes that President Obama is desparately trying to put a positive spin on the report, but there is no reason to celebrate — especially in the black community.
On Friday, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released more bad news regarding the state of the economy.
The official unemployment rate reported by the BLS for June is 8.2 percent, but the “U-6” rate — including marginalized and discouraged people often no longer looking for work — is actually at a devastating 14.9 percent. Only 80,000 jobs were created in June, when job creation at the rate of hundreds of thousands is needed.
Obama, the desperate optimist, said, “[It’s] a step in the right direction, but we can’t be satisfied.”
A step in the right direction? That would be laughable if the situation wasn’t so serious. He’s right: There’s no satisfaction to be found in the June jobs report.
To make matters worse, consider the statistics. For example, unemployment for teens rose to 23 percent. Hispanic unemployment is at 11 percent. Obama’s most loyal constituency, black Americans, saw their unemployment rate jump to 14.4 percent. The percentage of unemployed black teens soared to a devastatingly high 39.3 percent.
With unemployment rates this high, no one with integrity can honestly say that today’s report is a “step in the right direction.”
June was also the 41st straight month that the national unemployment rate has exceeded eight percent. Keep in mind that we were told that America wouldn’t see unemployment numbers this high if Congress passed the President’s stimulus bill in 2009. Yet, here we are today.
While the economic situation is bleak for all Americans, it has had a particularly dreadful impact on black Americans. Considering that the economic outlook seems likely to continue in the same woeful direction, it’s legitimate to speculate how long black Americans can continue to make excuses and support a president whose economic policies have negatively affected them so much since he took office.
Since the emotional accompaniment surrounding the historic election the nation’s first black president has subsided, Americans should clearly realize now that the economic policies and tax-raising schemes this president continues to advocate is hurting America.
Unemployment above eight percent for any group is simply unacceptable.
And it isn’t racist to say so.