"Our goal for the black unemployment rate should be about 4 percent. We can’t get to a 4 percent black unemployment rate while the national unemployment rate is over 8 percent. To address the broad economic stagnation we are in, we need more job-creating investments in the American people and the American economy. We know what works.
"The Congressional Budget Office (as well as all of the major professional macroeconomic analysts) has indicated that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (editor’s note: this is informally known as the “stimulus bill” of 2009) created more than 3 million jobs. We need more of these types of policies, since we have a current jobs deficit of about 10 million jobs.
"But to break the 2-to-1 black-to-white unemployment-rate ratio, we will also need targeted investments in high-unemployment communities. There are many black communities that can best be described as economically depressed. They have not been depressed for two or three years, but two or three decades. For these communities, we need a modern Works Progress Administration. Only something of this sort can break the decades-long pattern of high unemployment in these communities."