Unemployed Americans line up to speak with prospective employers at the Los Angeles Career Fair on March 23, 2010. (PHOTO CREDIT: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
"Shockingly" and "unacceptably" high... that's how a top Obama economic aide describes the unemployment rate for minorities in this country.
He's got a point. The jobless rate for whites in the United States in March was 8.8 percent. For blacks it was nearly double - 16.5 percent; and for Hispanics 12.6 percent. These unemployment rates increased for both minority groups from the previous month - while it stayed steady for whites.
Officials say minority unemployment is so high because of a drop in certain sectors of the economy - like construction and manufacturing.
The State of Black America report from the National Urban League is calling on the president to push for a so-called jobs surge for hard-hit minority communities.
The report expects to see continuing high unemployment in the short term. It says these high jobless rates are unacceptable when the government just spent tons and tons of money bailing out the banks and auto companies.
The National Urban League recommends spending an additional $150 billion for direct job creation in the hardest hit communities... with a goal of creating three million jobs.
They're also pushing for spending several billion more to hire as many as five million teens in inner-city areas as part of a summer jobs program.
Here’s my question to you: Why is unemployment among blacks and Hispanics significantly higher than among whites?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
The unemployment rate is directly related to high school graduation rates. Minorities have lower graduation rates and are therefore less able to compete. That is the issue that needs to be fixed.
It's because of lack of basic education, unwillingness to move and poor personal presentation skills in language and appearance. Since I am retiring, I had reason recently to visit the local Social Security and unemployment offices and got a first hand view of this.
Manuel in Phoenix writes:
Higher unemployment for minorities is the result of trickle-down economics affecting those of us perpetually at the bottom of the trickle downstream after the economic spigot has been shut off. No mystery there and no need to wonder if economic inequality rooted in racism exists either. It is real, alive and growing in our damaged economy. Help!
This is a joke, right? Ever hear of employment discrimination? What about last hired, first fired? Discrimination is more sophisticated but it exists! Don't believe me? Contact EEOC and inquire about the insurmountable backlog of employment discrimination cases.
Gary in Arizona writes:
Jack, It is because, despite a lot of progress, the majority remain at the bottom of the food chain. Lack of education leads the reasons, with criminal or illegal backgrounds often following closely. In a recession, it's strictly survival of the fittest and many of these poor folks don't qualify. Sounds harsh, and it is, but totally true.
Yesterday you pointed out the Tea Party's increase in favorable ratings, today it's more blacks and Hispanics are unemployed than whites. I see a correlation; it's ugly, and it tells us how far we haven't come in 200 plus years.