The Urban League Declares War on Unemployment

Next week’s State of Black America conference will focus on jobs.

Posted: 03/22/2011 05:02 PM EDT

When the National Urban League convenes its annual legislative policy conference in Washington, D.C. next week, the theme will be jobs, jobs, jobs.

“The Labor Department’s February jobs report shows black unemployment at 15.3%. The rate is 16.2% for black men and 11.6% for Hispanics,” NUL president and CEO Marc Morial wrote in an opinion piece for the Afro newspaper. “Clearly the jobs crisis persists in urban America and an immediate response is long overdue.” He added that the nation has declared war on poverty, drugs and even obesity, and he’s calling the government to make a similar declaration against unemployment

The organization also will release its annual State of Black America report at the conference, which runs March 29-31, and it will include a 12-point blueprint for quality job creation. According to Morial, even though tough choices must be made to reduce the federal deficit, Washington lawmakers also must continue to invest in people if the nation is to win the future.

“That means, among other things, we must invest in summer jobs for teens, broadband and green jobs for their parents, and direct job creation for cities and states,” Morial wrote.

A State of Black America town hall will take place at Howard University on March 31, from 10 a.m. to noon. To view a webcast of the event, visit

(Photo by Chaz Neill/PictureGroup)