Black Women Hit Hardest by Unemployment

Black Women Hit Hardest by Unemployment

While all other groups saw a decline in their unemployment rates over the past year, Black women's unemployment rate remained high and unchanged at 10.6 percent.

Published September 8, 2014

An analysis of the latest U.S. employment data has raised a red flag. According to National Women’s Law Center's report, African-American women are the only group whose unemployment rate has not improved over the past year.

This contrasts the 1.1 percent decline of the overall unemployment rate, the 2.6 percent decline of the rate for adult Hispanic and African-American men and the roughly 0.6 percent decline of the rate for adult white women, adult Hispanic women and adult women overall. The unemployment rate for African-American women remained high and unchanged at 10.6 percent, the same rate it was in August 2013.

The NWLC even compared college-educated adults across all demographics to determine whether a lack of education was the issue, and Black women still had the highest unemployment rates.

"There's something else going on here,” Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security at the MWLC, told The Huffington Post.

Entmacher suggested that budget cuts within the public sector, where Black women are disproportionately employed due to receiving more equitable opportunities, are a possible reason why the group is struggling to find jobs.

"Public sector jobs are slower to recover because public policy has been to cut or freeze funding for all levels of government over the past few years," she told The Huffington Post. "After the recovery began, there was an emphasis on reducing the deficit and shrinking the government at a time when that was really damaging to the economy.”

Entmacher also advised lawmakers to "promote a stronger — and more widely shared — recovery.

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(Photo: moodboard/Corbis)

Written by Patrice Peck


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