Black Americans face an especially tough job market

A New Lecture: “Anti-Black Discrimination in the Age of Obama” by Dr. Algernon Austin

The simplistic idea that impoverished African Americans have only themselves to blame for their poverty, due to their poor cultural values—a notion advanced by many, including black public figures such as Bill Cosby—is believable only if a blind eye is turned to those inconvenient things social scientists like to call “facts.” Algernon Austin soundly refutes the “culture of poverty” argument by paying careful attention to marco-economic data about long-term poverty trends and sociological case studies about persistent discrimination. In other words, unlike the glib punditry, Austin actually looks at the “facts.”
--Dr. Andrew Hartman, professor and audience member, Illinois State University

Contact Dr. Austin to arrange a speaking engagement.

by Andrea Orr

As the entire country struggles with the highest unemployment rate in a generation, black Americans are especially hard pressed to find jobs. Overall unemployment in May reached 9.4%, but within that number there were some stark differences by race. White unemployment in May stood at 8.6%, while the black unemployment rate was a staggering 14.9%.

And it is not only during a recession that blacks struggle to find work. During a June 19 panel hosted by the Center for American Progress to discuss this persistent problem, Algernon Austin — EPI’s director of Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy — noted that black male unemployment was at “recessionary” levels even back when the overall economy had been strong. In 2006, for example, unemployment was 3.9% among white men and 9.7% among black men. Even the historically deep recession the country now faces has not produced overall unemployment levels equal to what black men have faced for years.

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