Study Finds Black Resilience Contributes to Unemployment Rate

Out-of-work African-Americans continue to search for work and remain counted in the unemployment rate.

Posted: 06/16/2014 02:19 PM EDT
Black Interview

A study conducted by Valerie Wilson of the Economic Policy Institute found that the discrepancy between Black and white unemployment is the highest it has been since 2007, and that Black resiliency is to blame.

Over the past year, without fail, African-American unemployment has exceeded white unemployment by at least 200 percent. In the past two months, the Black unemployment rate was 2.2 times greater than the overall rate.

Researchers say that part of the disparity is a result of African-Americans being “less likely to give up the search for a job than other unemployed workers.”

Explained simply, there are more unemployed Blacks who continue to seek work, stay in the labor force and are labeled as “unemployed.”

“Discouraged workers” aren’t calculated in the unemployment rate. These workers are “those persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months, but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

As of June 6, 697,000 persons were classified as “discouraged” among the marginally attached, and in a breakdown, 7 million people were unemployed, but not counted in the work force.

Overall, the country’s unemployment rate remains at 6.3 percent, the lowest it has been since 2008.

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