April 6th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Why unemployment among blacks & Hispanics significantly higher than whites?


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?

Dan writes:
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.

J. writes:
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!

Sue writes:
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.

Annie writes:
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.

Filed under: Unemployment
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. Maria

    First,educational systems in largely minority neighborhoods are not giving our children the education they want and need. Second, there is still the old myth that minority children are dumb and dumber, lazy, don't have parents who care about their education, and just aren't worth the teacher's time and attention. Sounds like the old slavery B.S., just adjusted down to kids now, instead of adults. Until we see more leaders in this country who are African-American or Hispanic or Asian or Slavic, et al, and until older people who believe such BS die off, that change will be a long time comin'.

    Additionally, people in the position of hiring, hire people who look like themselves. That has to stop to make an employment difference.



    April 6, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  2. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    Unemployment is very high for blacks and hispanics because a large percentage of them drop out of high school before they graduate and therefore they are doomed in the job market. Democrats pretend to support education in this country but they only support the NEA. The NEA only wants to completely control primary education in this country to the benefit of the teachers.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  3. Geoffrey in Lowell, MA

    Although the short end of the stick is not as short as it once was, it's still unacceptably short. It's the short end of a not very long stick right now. If you happen to think big government is bad, consider the alternative which is big business and then think again.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  4. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    It is a way of life for many of these people. They run drug businesses on the side and a few other illegal activities. The main cause for this I believe is the difference of educational levels between whites,blacks,and Hispanics. Whites value education and have experienced the rewards of geting a college degree. Many blacks and Hispanics don't value education because they don't even imagine it in their future. They have to incorporate education into their value system and realize that it is a real possibility. Of course they need to be encouraged and the quality of education offered to blacks and Hispanics has to be brought up to the levels of what is offered to whites. This will take time. It can't be done over night but the election of President Obama has expidited this process by leaps and bounds.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  5. Rob

    Jack, maybe too many blacks & Hispanics drop out of school in order to hang out on street corners listening to gangsta rap with their pants on the ground. That doesn't look good on a job application I guess.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  6. JWilemon

    Q:Why is unemployment among blacks and Hispanics significantly higher than among whites?

    A:Lack of basic education and unwillingness to move + 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.

    Albuquerque, NM

    April 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  7. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    I would say it's because the Black and Hispanic population are more likely to have less than a high school education than Whites, Jack.

    the inner city drop out rate for both groups is about 50% and it's a fact that less educated people, of ANY race, are more likely to be unemployed.

    also, the illegal aliens currently working in America are taking jobs that under educated people in our society have performed. 12 million or more illegal alien workers means 12 million or more under educated Blacks and Hispanic CITIZENS out of work.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  8. Ed Fazio, AZ

    Unemployment among Blacks and Hispanics is Probably Higher Due to Their Overall Lack of Education, and the Types of Jobs They Hold. Many of Them Worked in the Building Trade, and as We Know, These Jobs are Scarce in This Recession. If You Look at the White Collar Fields, You Will Probably Find that Unemployment for all Groups will be Closer.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  9. Arlene


    Black and Hispanic workers in the US often worked in manufacturing and some lower paying Corp. jobs. These were the first jobs outsourced to other countries several years ago. No one thought outsourcing was a problem until it starting affecting upper middle class white Americans. By then the unemployement rate for Blacks and Hispanics was well into the double digits... We knew we were in trouble years ago but no one in the previous administaration cared because it didn't affect the people they knew...

    April 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  10. Arlene


    Black and Hispanic workers in the US often worked in manufacturing and some lower paying Corp. jobs. These were the first jobs outsourced to other countries several years ago. No one thought outsourcing was a problem until it starting affecting upper middle class white Americans. By then the unemployement rate for Blacks and Hispanics was well into the double digits... We knew we were in trouble years ago but no one in the previous administaration cared because it didn't affect the people they knew...

    Arlene in Atlanta

    April 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  11. Joe CE

    Ywo reasons: lack of education & training & racial/ethnic prejudice.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  12. Gerry Erman

    Thats a very explosive question Jack. In a word I would think "attitude". Black people coming from Africa and Europe still see this as the land of opportunity as do latins from Europe. Their percentage of success in employment and business in this country is by far better than the latins and blacks that were born here.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  13. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Education and job skills

    April 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  14. Ed Tallahassee

    I think it is education. Most of the figures I have seen have said that people with less education have been hit harder by the economy then people with more education.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  15. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It may have to do with education and also suiting up and showing up on time every day, not when someone feels like it.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  16. Layne Alleman

    Jack, I shouldn't have to keep reminding you Jack, you were in the military: who's the first to get the worst? The most expendable. P.S.,how are those C.E.O. jobs doing on Wall Street and Corporate America. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Educational attainment Jack....that is as plain as it gets.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  18. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, for the same reasons the high school dropout rates are twice as high among this group. They are more likely to be perfectly happy living off welfare, residing in the ghettos, selling drugs, and belonging to gangs. When young folks from the ghettos try to get out, they end like the 16 year old "A" student in Chicago-dead, because they are "different"! Of course, the minority communities would have everyone believe that they are held back because of racism, which in a way is true. However, the racism exists in the minority communities, and until they quit blaming everyone else for their failures, they will continue to perpetuate the cycle of failure.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  19. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Lack of education, lack of english speaking skills and maybe, just maybe lack of citizenship papers.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  20. Vence

    Institutionalized Racism!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  21. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, the percentages of unemployment cited in this article become less important as whites move closer to being a MINORITY! What are the raw numbers of unemployed, versus the percentage (there is a difference!) Will this question still be important when whites actually become the minority? I didn't think so.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  22. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Like you said, the construction and manufacturing industries have pretty much come to a screeching halt. Blue Collar jobs have been disappearing rapidly due to not only a recession but outsourcing. As a capitalist, I can understand why businesses want to outsource but from an economic standpoint, it's bad because it takes away basic manufacturing which is the basic foundation of an economy.

    A jobs bill is the short term solution which is very expensive. But the ultimate solution is bringing basic manufacturing back to the United States which will create millions of blue collar jobs, grow our economy, and bring us out of this recession.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  23. Chris in Philadelphia

    Here in Philly, the graduation rates in the city schools are awful and Blacks and Hispanics are the majority of the students. They are poorly educated drop outs and therefore have less in the way of marketable skills lessening job prospects in the best of times and in the worst of times make it nearly impossible to find work.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  24. honestjohn in Vermont

    It is shameful our politicans spend trillions to bailout the very banks that got us into this mess, yet we spend so little to train workers for jobs,some which no longer exist.

    April 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  25. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Quiting school, not learning the language or being unable to pronounce words, I'm sure are important contributing factors.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  26. Crystal C.

    Minorities have been disproportionally affected by unemployment due to lower college graduation rates and being employed in sectors that are disappearing from the economy. If minority communities do not work to get ahead of the recession, they will fall even further behind the majority.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  27. Darrell Wright

    Probably because many white people were on unemployment when the ILLEGALS were taking over our jobs. So naturally the White population can no longer receive unemployment benefits and are not counted as a result.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  28. Cindy Merrill

    Many are caught in a catch 22: Nearly 4 Million Americans took out student loans for college. when they economy tanked, most minorites ( including myself, a Native American)were forced to default on our loans when we lost our part-time jobs. Well, Guess What? A minimum wage job won't pay off our loans, and we're disqualified from any and ALL job training, or further education until those loans are paid! So here I am at age 48, with my dream of becoming a History Teacher out of reach forever. When my husband passes on someday ( he's 68) I will end up as a burden on society.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  29. Scott Stodden

    With all do respect Jack its probably higher among blacks and hispanics because that's what the prison system mainly consits of and nobody will really hire people with major felonys on there backgrounds! The prison catogorey isn't high like that for white people so its easier for them to get jobs because they have a clean record!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  30. Chaney, Louisiana.

    It could mean that we still have plenty of bias based on color among employers, or it could be that the education level is not as high among minorities....and the job losses have been in manufacturing, and it could be some combination of all of the above........some of the Billions should go to creating jobs at a grass roots level in the hardest hit communities, manufacturing goods etc......would be a good deal.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  31. Lynda from NC

    I think the answer isn't to start spending more tax money on inorities specifically – it to ask why minorities are in jobs that are so precarious that they are more likely to be unemployed. I'd guess its that they are more likely to be unskilled workers and without degrees since they have been so affected by construction and manufacturing job losses. So the fix is to fix the education system so they can qualify for better jobs!

    April 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  32. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Officials may be correct, the hardest hit were construction, manufacturing, and service industries.

    The solution is better education opportunities for Blacks and Hispanics, when the college graduation levels among races are equal then the unemployment numbers will reduce for all people as we evolve from a manufacturing age to a technical age.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  33. A.B. Baltimore Maryland

    Jack, The high unemployment rate among minoriies exist for the following reasons:
    -Poor social committment to equal employment opportunities.
    -Poor professional and educational attainment skill sets.
    -Poor social skills and etiquete.
    -Poor work ethics.
    -Poor professional and work attitude.
    -Involvement with the criminal justice system.
    Once these factors are addressed properly, perhaps the unemployment rate among minorities will decline.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  34. Ed from California

    Lack of education on their part. It ain't cool to be smart! Joining a gang and selling drugs is higher on the "to do" list, then staying in school and paying attention so you can get a good paying job. It's so sad to see these kids throwing everything away for a unsecured life. We have everything here for damn near free to get ahead, and some CHOOSE the "easy" way out. Drugs of all kinds are our Achilles heal. Who wants to hire that nightmare?

    April 6, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  35. Jim


    Your question invites all sorts of biased remarks. The real answer is education and communication. The job applicant with the education and skills to handle the job, and the command of English to understand and be clearly understood, will get the job, ethnic background notwithstanding.

    Reno, Nevada

    April 6, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  36. The Broker.

    "Whites will work with whites, and work fluently/interactivly.
    Companies dont want racial alegation in their factories,! I should know, we had it in England, and they still do today."

    April 6, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  37. Monila75

    It is a known fact that unemployment is higher for minority, especially Blacks than whites. Also when a Black person is hired for a professional job the work required to produce is higher than Whites and PR (performance rating) ratings are lower than whites. When we had the Affirmative Action law they had to have a certain quota of minority people, it was a must that Blacks be hired. Since eliminating that law i think we have allowed the system to keep us segregated, whether qualified or not. People don't have to hire Black people. As we can see the country with their racist remarks about the President has not really come that far. It's better, but!!!!!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  38. Amine Chaar

    We are still living in the 60's in corporate America, the first one to be laid off are the minorities, I have worked in these companies for over 40 years and discrimintaion still exist regardless who say what.
    Qualifications and seniorities doesn't mean a think

    April 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  39. Leslie

    Officials say minority unemployment is so high because of a drop in certain sectors of the economy – like construction and manufacturing.

    If these are the sectors that are hurting, President Obama needs to face the fact that these are the same jobs that illegal aliens are taking. There is no shortage of jobs in these sectors, just a shortage of companies who are hiring American workers over illegal aliens. Stop illegal immigration, fine companies who hire illegals, enforce immigration laws and unemployment will drop.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  40. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    Since the economy is beginning to recover, we are just now looking at the disparity in the unemployment rates between white Americans and those of minority cultures? Wake up, the unemployment rate has always been higher for those in minority communities. The problem is that just because Congress passed laws promising civil rights and equality for those oppressed minorities did not mean that we woke up the next day with equality for all and that this mentality translated to equal access to jobs for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and even Asian-Americans.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  41. Thom Richer

    Jack, my guess and it is merely a guess, is .....Racism! What do you think?

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    April 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  42. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    This is absolutely crazy. Spend another 150B, we don't have, on certain communities, after flushing nearly a trillion down the toilet aleady on a garbage stimulus bill, that stimulated nothing and profited only special interests and those in the right discricts. Obviously the unemployment rate disparity has to do with the lack of demand for skills more highly associated with non-white demographics. They will come back when the economy at large comes back. We don't need to throw any more money at ridiculous projects that create no real growth and delay the necessary corrections that need to take place in the market. The government interference destroying our future.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  43. Gary H. Boyd

    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.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 6, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  44. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Jack Cafferty and CNN friends,

    African American and Hispanics usually have to Learn and Understand the English Business Language and Culture. That is why the unemployment among Blacks and Hispanics are significantly higher than among Whites.

    Jurgen R. Brul

    April 6, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  45. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Can your viewers handle the truth and can you read the truth. The African American and Latino community do not focus on education at the same level as do other racial groupd. A larg percentage of young Blacks and Latinos are more involved in gangs not school. Black male youth would rather hit a baskerball court than hit the books. These kids are not fully at fault. Many factors drive these kids from education into other areas. Such a shame Jack. Think of the valuable minds that are being wasted.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  46. Natalie

    Really? This is a question to ponder? How about this: Welcome to old world racist America.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  47. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    My daughter finished her 3rd year of college in Japan and she was amazed to find the Japanese to almost universally describe Mexicans as lazy. As her experience was of a people who worked 2 and sometimes 3 jobs, were always willing to offer a helping hand and would scrimp to send their children to college, this baffled her. And I once knew a decent and welcoming Baptist Pastor who sent out a mass joke E-Mail about work ethics and various nationalities and races without thinking of the ramifications.
    Until we discard these stereotypes and fairy tales at the very base of our thinking, how can we not expect a white establishment to hire hard working, family values white Christians.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  48. Homeless D in Atlanta

    Is this a trick question?

    The unemployment RATE is higher for blacks and hispanics because THEY do the jobs that are hit hardest in this economic disaster.

    Fir example, on a construction project (shovel ready or not) you would USUALLY find ONE or a coupld of white guys in charge )(superintendents, project managers, engineers) to a larger number (maybe as many as 100) craft workers and laborers. Those jobs are mostly filled by minority workers (lately mo9stly by hispanic workers).

    Consequently, when the projects wind down and less labor is needed, those laid off are the black and hispanic 'majority' on that job.

    Expand this to other areas of employment and one can see why the RATE of black and hispanic unemployment is larger than that for whites.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  49. Alex in Gig Harbor

    My guess, Jack, is a failure to take advantage of a free educational system which would lead to better job skills. My mom always said, "To get a good job you need a good education.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  50. EJ in Metro Houston

    Let's face it Jack...just like in any other field out you just can NOT force employers to hire a person due to his or her skin color, thus unless it can be proven a person was not hired due to race, it can be gotten away with. The day of quota hiring is past and there are many minorities, just like some poor whites that don't have the skills nor education to get some of the higher paying jobs. However unlike some of the blacks and Hispanics some of the poor whites might have a friend or relative in the company and once again the old adage of not what you know but "WHO" you know comes in effect.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  51. MA in Phoenix, Arizona

    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!!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  52. Rick Medina,OH


    It is my hunch that blacks and Hispanics are more willing to disclose their employment status to the statisticians who ask. There is little doubt that education, culture, and the type of work that blacks and Hispanics often find are contributing factors. But, I think a large segment of unemployed whites keep their situations to themselves. If I'm right, that distorts the numbers.


    April 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  53. steve- virginia beach

    The US has a 30% k-12 dropout rate. It's around 50% for black and hispanic students so it shouldn't be a surprise that they have the hardest time finding jobs. To make matters worse, they're competing with illegal aliens for the jobs dropouts can expect to be hired for. Now we have a President and Congress who want to redistribute the wealth to them and make the their illegal alien competetors citizens instead of addressing the underlying problems.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  54. Docb


    Historically the rates have been higher in these populations. I blame it on education–which is going further down the rabbit hole. Note that education funding is being cut in every state at every level but NONE of the legislators are cutting their salaries or benefits! Maybe if the unemployed were put into the Congress [State and Federal] we might get the changes the people need and even jobs!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  55. John Holmes in San Fernando Valley

    Here is a little quip.
    We had a black women working at our office. Unlike everyone else she showed up when she felt like it. She did not call in saying she was late or not coming in. She got fired and said it was discrimination.

    Make from it what you can.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  56. Sue

    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.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  57. Sly, Alpena, Michigan

    Simple Jack: "RACISM".

    April 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  58. jen

    The disproportionate education level is the factor.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  59. Greg M.

    I'm sure the number for Hispanics is MUCH higher than that because they do not include ALL the illegal aliens.As for Blacks I do not know.We are headed somewhat in the right direction though.Pres. Obama is half black and half white.Which category does he fall under?One of my white friends has children with a Black woman and a woman who is half Black and half White.Since this has been deemed "acceptable" by the public since Dr. MLK stepped up The Cause and there are many others like that,which category do they fall under?I do not yet see a space for that on ANY forms ANYWHERE.As long as we're on the subject what are the #'s for gay whites and gay blacks?As long as the polls keep distinguishing between races we will NEVER be able to look beyond color.It should be % of Americans.

    Greg M. Largo,FL

    April 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  60. Dan

    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.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  61. Ken in NC

    Is this a trick question? Unemployment among blacks and Hispanics is significantly higher than whites because there are fewer whites out of work.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  62. Danied13

    Probably Because some jobs might require certain requirements that blacks and hispanics might not have. Or possibly because there could be some racial issues in some buisenesses.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  63. Sam

    Why don't you ask them?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  64. Leroy Starr

    I think it is simply an inherent human trait: Enmity/Amity complex. Like
    for those who are like us, dislike for those who are not. It has been ever thus.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  65. Molly

    For the same reason that women disproportionately lag behind men in the ranks of management. Like hires like. Too many hiring decisions are made on personal whims, not on professional standards.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  66. kevin buenitez(ny)

    i am a hispanic and i think it is bc most minorities(including hispanics) spend time complaining about not having a job instead of looking!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  67. Paula Eliseo

    Opportunities for quality education, education, education - it's that simple.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  68. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Life is all about educational advantages. Two hundred years ago, my white ancestors, although poor and persecuted, had the advantage of receiving an education provided by the Presybyterian Church in Scotland. This was well before general education in England and totally out of reach for black slaves in America or Native Americans in Mexico. Blacks and Hispanics are a few generations behind the blessing most of us whites have recieved, but they are gaining at the speed of light. Only in America.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  69. Gregg - Tampa, FL

    there are two clear answers to your question.
    1. Average educational achievement among members of the three groups involved varies significantly.
    2. Skin color among these groups also varies in direct proportion to the unemployment rates.
    Both factors contribute.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  70. Marie

    With jobs being scarce it gives employers the perfect opportunity to discriminate and ethnic minorities are not the only group being targeted. I challenge you to check into the unemployment numbers for persons over the age of 50. Both ethnic groups and age challenged job seekers are often willing to work below their usual wage but one of the excuses by employers is "You are overqualified".

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  71. juan garcia rosepine,LA

    Blacks and Latinos have a higher rate of unemployment because most of them have chossen a line of work that doesnt provide diversity of employment basicly most of them are being just lazy go to college

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  72. Annette

    I hope this is put online....I live in the South and I won't stay what state but my firm lays off many minorities while hiring whites. I have noticed the trend here and since most managers are White, they are hiring the same here. Because of Obama we cannot even complain because everyone says "you guys want to complain". Even reverse discrimination is on the rise....what a crock.......We Blacks are really doing well "huh." America is still the same whereas Blacks get the short end of the stick. We really won with Obama. He has to make sure he does not favor minorities in any way because Whites will say "gotcha".

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  73. DJ

    As a black professional I would have to say that we (minorities) are typically the last hired and first fired. I am a laid off Finance professional with about 10 years of solid work experience under my belt. I have an undergraduate degree from a top university and an MBA from a top 20 business school. Despite my work history, my education and my stellar job performance reviews I was laid off from my company during the 1st waive of lay offs. I have not been able to find full time employment in over a year. If it wasn't for unemployment benefits I would be homeless!!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  74. Khem

    Black unemployment is a complex issue, which includes poor educational outcomes as a result of inadequate schools. Many blacks work in non-professional occupations because of lack of college degrees, and these jobs are generally the first to be downsized. In addition, "last hired, first fired" is still a reality, and blacks are often "last hires" (if hired at all) in many businesses.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  75. Scott Farrell

    One factor is never discussed is skill set. I run a small company and the difference in skill set for new hires can be tremendous. All small companies are working with minimal staff to even survive. Employees with the highest skill set who can handle more than one job are the ones that are kept and rewarded. There is no room for anyone of any race, creed, or origin that cannot handle multiple functions in an organization. You guys always talk about major corporations, manufacturing or construction but not about small businesses that employee most Americans. It would be nice to get through all of the political correctness and truly identify the problem of skills and then figure how to address that need.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  76. Wolf Schneider

    Jack, You only have to look at the dropout rate!! I think that will answer your question regarding the unemployment rate. No high school, fewer job opportunities.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  77. Jay in NYC

    While it's always bad to know that one ethnic group of society is less employed than another, I hardly see why it is a moral imperative for the government to give a black or Latino person any advantage over me, an unemployed white person. Attempting to fix a wrong with another wrong is neither morally justified or productive in my book. Why does the government wish to punish me simply because I'm white? My being out of a job is just as important, just as catastophic for me as it is for anyone of of any other race. Race based favoritism is wrong no matter who it intends to benefit!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  78. Scott

    Obama has created a tension in civil rights; since he has taken office EEOC charges have rised.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  79. Jandel Crutchfield

    It's ridiculous to me that the same exact disproportionality that has existed for 60 years is now somehow "staggering." Are minority struggles more important now because there is a Black president in office?The same structural discrimination exists in business hiring practices that did before President Obama took office. Address the prejudices in hiring practices and watch the unemployment gaps close.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  80. Rosa Ritchie

    Not necessarily black or hispanic but there is a high percentage where my business is located. I am a job recruiter in Elkhart County, Indiana, one of the Nations highest unemployment rates. Every day my job is a challenge trying to find people to go to work and give up their unemployment. Why would they go to work when they can sit at home and get $400 a week for doing nothing. They come in and interview but then when you offer them a position they turn it down. There needs to be a return to work incentive for them to get them Off of unemployment. Stop making it so easy!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  81. Denise Bland

    The unemployment is higher among minorities because there is still discrimination in the workplace. The federal government is riddled with discriminatory practices and President Obama is ignoring any cries for help and justice. Here in the South, blacks are repeatedly terminated for bogus reasons and whites are hired in their places. Blacks don't have a platform with the media to address these issues and our politicians don't care. What are we to do? Senator Blanche Lincoln has not done anything to address this issue, therefore, the black vote this November, won't be for her.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  82. Obaid Amir

    It is competitive time. Companies hiring now require higher education and many skills that Blacks and Hispanics do not have. I don't think it is related to discrimination or any thing similar...

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  83. Mohamed

    The base of this problem has existed for longer then I have been alive. Racism is a live and well in America. America is the land of the free and opportunity, but I ask you this; What Freedoms! and What Opportunities!!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  84. DeMarcus Burgess

    12 point difference in IQ on average between blacks and whites. That represents an entire Standard Deviation.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  85. Rose

    I don't know, but I sure won't be idnetifying my race when filling out online applications. It's scary to think that part of the problem could be that companies are filtiring out African Americans from their pool of prospective employees. I Sure hope that this is not a part of the problem,

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  86. overtaxed

    Less employable given the lack of education and work ethic; similar to young workers; it's not rocket science even though the truth is seen as political incorrect.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  87. Delma Wilson

    The unemployment in this group is so high because undocumented workers take their jobs at lesser pay. We as a nation are looking the other way. Everyone continues to hire undocumented workers. Until the goverment comes down hard, major fines this will continue. Delma Wilson

    April 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  88. Darryl

    Education definitely plays an important role in this. You have legislators and governors, mainly in the South, cutting every single piece of funding for education, yet they invest in private schools which are not all the time affordable for minorities. The public school system is going down and manufacturing jobs are either disappearing or hiring more undocumented immigrants. Those two combined are the main reasons why minorities are hit the hardest.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  89. Ellyn Camp

    As a former teacher of high school students, the obvious fact is that they have a lack of skills and the opportunity to get these skills. Everyone wants to blame the teachers and I feel this is incorrect. It is the responsibility of the School Board, Administration, Teachers, Parents, and Students to help these students be successful. I don't think that this is being addressed at all. If they were doing their job, all americans would be skilled enough to prevent unemployment. The country also has to get over the ideology of whites not feeling that non whites are egual. Equal means All Americans. It does not matter what you look like or believe. The children in this country are not the priority. That is the problem.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  90. Thomas K Wirth

    It's quite unfortunate, but one main cause of this is institutional racism. Some people still ascribe to outmoded norms concerning "minorities", like thinking some types of workers work harder, or some such. These beliefs can influence not only consciously, radically influencing our decisions, but can have an unconscious effect as well.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  91. Eric

    Jack, the unemployment rate for minorities was already disproportionate before the recession hit. Couple that with the widely accepted idea that minorities are "the last to get hired and the first to get fired", and you are left with the present situation. It just goes to show that not that much has changed in this country.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  92. Michael

    It's higher because the Chinese have most of all our jobs. Black, White, Latino, etc.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  93. Quincy

    As a young black male, I find it hard to find employment. I am doing the best I can to stay in school but, as the bills pile up, what am I to do? What are minorities to do? Time for a change.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  94. scott J

    It is pretty simple, education! Compare the % of blacks and hispanics with college educations to whites, or high school educations for that matter and you will see the root cause. We need education at all levels, for all americans regardless of color and financial background. Not an easy answer.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  95. Samuel Richardson, Sr.

    I can't believe you asked this question!
    At any point in time since unemployment statistics have been gathered and published, essentially the current relationship has existed. I would say, structural racism, but many in your audience would protest how "fair" the US is. After centuries of active denial of equal employment opportunities, saying the playing field is level just won't cut it. Why, if it was OK to specifically deny opportunity to blacks for so long, is it unacceptable to target blacks for special treatment? We were special before!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  96. Bill in NC

    I can't believe that you would ask such a sophomoric question. The simple unretouched answer is that the people that you mention would rather collect a welfare check and food stamps than to work a job. How about a tough question next time?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  97. KC

    My guess is that when times are tough and a hiring manager is white and there are two good candidates, one black and one white they will choose the white candidate. We still live in a racist society where people give preferential treatment to those that they can relate to based on race factors. It's unfortunate and that is why it is so important that affirmative action is still in place-to prevent these racially based inequalities.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  98. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Could part of the reason be the ability or inclination to relocate to where the opportunities for work exist?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  99. muammad shabazz

    Jack, Covert discremination has alot to do with it. Just because the civil rights act passed in 1965 does not mean it can be enforced. Americans need to take a hard look as ourselves so we can realize we have a long way to go......

    April 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  100. Mary Greer

    IMO it's a trickle down effect.. There are less jobs, and whites are taking lesser jobs, which means employees who have less skills, or less work ethic, or are harder to understand (either English as a second language or Ebonics) are less desirable. Unfortunately for a lot of blacks 'tude is not what an employer wants to see. Mary in Alabama

    April 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  101. Corey

    I think the unemployment is disproportionally high for all races. I just moved to a small town, Challis, Idaho. I was living in San Diego, CA and moved here because I found a nice affordable apartment. Never in my life had I had such a tough time finding work.

    I also believe the unemployment figures for latinos and blacks is false. Go take a look at construction sites and what do you see, latinos. Or how about your neighborhood McDonalds. Although fast food places are not the most desireable jobs, you can see that they're all hispanics working at these places.

    As to the unemployment statistics with blacks and latinos that live in bigger cities. I think there may be quiet a few that are unemployeed. But how many of these so called minorities are making a living selling drugs. I'm not racist but I will bet you anything there are a lot of minorities in the bigger cities with criminal records and involved in selling hard core drugs.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  102. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    In some of our hardest hit black communities there are jobs right there in their own backyards. Some of these neighborhoods are in ruins and in desperate need of rebuilding and rebuilding creates jobs and funding for rebuilding. The Urban League could better serve the plight of high unemployment among blacks by focusing on developing jobs that bring funding instead of just focusing on the jobs market. I am black and have a clear understanding of what we need to do for ourselves.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  103. Dan

    Anyone who tells you its anything other than education is kidding themselves. The US educational system has been on the decline for a long time, and blacks and hispanics bare the brunt the hardest. No education = low end jobs. I'm African-American, and I think this minority only stimulus is a joke. Edcuation should be the goal or minorities will be in the same situation the next time.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  104. Denzel

    I think its because African Americans are associated with many bad stereotypes in this country for holding and behaving in a job,so it makes since that not many people would want to hire us.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |

    Unemployment among Blacks and Hispanics is higher than whites for many reasons: 1) the trickle down effect of centuries of slavery and discrimination still rears its ugly head in the workplace in terms of hiring, promotion, and firing practices.(Blacks have been last hired, first fired. 2) Lack of opportunities for advancement in the work force; 3) Lack of available funds to get vocational/tech training and college degrees; 4) the negative psychological effects of prejudice & being systematically treated like 2nd & 3rd class citizens impacts minorities' ability & willingness to keep hope alive- trying despite setbacks.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  106. Rox, Minneapolis

    Contrary to popular belief, there are more than a few Blacks and Hispanics who are educated and qualified. Even though this particular group does not meet the "unemployable" criteria that minorities are often lumped into, they are still without jobs. It is a fact that many employers hire people with whom they are comfortable - people like themselves. ps: Ever hear the truism: "Last hired, first fired?"

    April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  107. Alan Herman

    I was not happy with hearing that African-American's are feeling disenfranchised, that Obama has been ignoring them and they want special attention to their community. I try to look at the United States of America as just that, UNITED...and try and not to see color, Obama is doing alot of great things for this country and I would like to think HE is not looking at color as well. But when I see these numbers, I feel that attention DOES need to be placed on this sector. While I am still jobless and searching, when I see such an unjust discrepancy, DOUBLE that to whites, this problem within the problem should actually have a task force assigned to it!
    Meanwhile, I hope that President Obama and Congress work together on the unemplyment situation immediately...for all of us.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  108. TheMama

    Minorities tend to look to the government to solve/ provide for or solve their problems. This reliance has created a crisis, specifically in the black community. When you aren't taugt to fish, you look to others to feed you and Jesse and Al perpetuate this!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  109. Steve D

    Gee you think it might have something to do with education and skill levels? You think its because white families as a rule do not tolerate their children dropping out of school? You think its because more white parents attend PTA meetings and get involved in their child's education? To jump to the conclusion that this is some sort of discrimination as most opportunist black politicians have done is ridiculous. If unqualified raw data is all you have to go by don't blow it out of proportion. If you have a proper survey that looks behind the numbers than talk to me. I am now of retirement age. I went thru my entire working life under desegregated schools. My black classmates got equal if not better education than I did. To suggest that we need to do some kind of set aside to make up for discrimination that happened before most of these people were ever born is inane. To determine that discrimination even occurred based on raw numbers is equally as inane. Some people are just better qualified than others no matter what their skin color is.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  110. Sean

    You're kidding, right? I am an unemployed African-American male, with a college education, and after going on numerous job interviews, I am, often told that I'm "over qualified;" so it's not just blue collar individuals who are out of work. Another cause for this ridiculously high minority unemployment rate is bad credit. How are people supposed to fix their credit problems, If they can't gain employment BECAUSE of their credit score? Personally, I believe that the Capitalistic government of this nation was never meant to include minorities, in the first place.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  111. John

    I think its because employers favors whites over blacks, even when education is not a significant factor. I never had a issue finding a job in Phoenix AZ until the economy shifted. Now that I'm rather in competition with whites for similar jobs, I am frequently over looked and stereotyped because I am black. I have a masters degree and I am unemployed, what is that about.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  112. Guy

    It is disturbing! I would like, however, to see another statistic though...what is the unemployment rate for those who have actually gone out aggressively seeking jobs? I'm sure that all races have those that just aren't making the effort or even worse...have lost hope so why make the effort. The requirements for receiving unemployment benefits are "loose" at best but if they became more stringent to really show effort by folks to get a job...instead of making the weekly ph. call or showing up 3 places and asking if there is employment. Unemployment would drop quickly if the availability of benefits was not so convenient. And crime would soon increase as it is always an alternative way of making a living.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  113. Greg Young

    Jack, unfortunately, minorities are considerably less lkely to be enrolled and graduate from college, and considerably more likely to be incarerated than whites. As an African American male, I see a great need to stress the importance of education in our families, not accepting or allowing our children to drop out. Our kids need to be motivated, our schools need to do a better job with hiring the right type of teacher, more money needs to spent to improve the condition of our neighborhood schools.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  114. Allison Beverly

    It is what we call institutional racism. As a black professional I have experienced it. I am unemployed and have always been highly ranked. My white peers who do not have a degree are still working. Figure that.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  115. Brock, Maryland


    I think that it is the education. I believe that the people that dropout of school, aren't cut out for the job. And statistically,there are more black and hispanic dropouts than whites. Jack, I know that there is no racial issue in this;it is just people choosing not to get an education.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  116. Eric

    I will tell you why that is Jack, it's because the jobs that were going to some blacks are now being taken by whites because whites are the one's in charge of making the decision on who gets the job. It's simple, whites will take care of their own before giving that job that would have probably gone to a black person, is now going to that white person because they will take care of their own. That is happening more and more as some of the folks in charge of hiring don't like the idea of Pres Obama being in charge, so it's there way of getting back at black people. That's the real truth.
    You do a great job Jack, thanks

    April 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  117. Mark, from Las Vegas

    Bottom line; education. Look at the drop out rate for Blacks and Hispanics v.s. Whites and Asians. Whites and Asians tend to stay in school thus promoting their options in the job market. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Slow day at the office Jack?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  118. Annette

    Reading some of the comments show a lack of understanding and judgment of minorities by Whites. I do not state that all Whites are racist and feel they should be on top because they are White regardless of education. I live and work here in Georgia and have two degrees and I can tell you that I was told that it means nothing. It is the good ol boy network and us minorities do not typically belong to that group. If 99 percent of managers are White...what do you think the chances that they will not hire like people. If a Black is in charge...he/she is too scared to hire their own because they will be accused of favoritism. It is sad here in the South. Take a sampling on who is getting laid off.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  119. Damon

    If we continue to bring these types of statistics, we will continue to have divides in our society. Racism in our time is a perception in most communities (not that it doesn't exist in some areas). If we continue to perpetuate these thoughts, WE perpetuate racism.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  120. Jay

    It has nothing to do with education. I have have a black engineering degree and I can't find a job. This is a buyers market, if an employeer wants to hire best and brightest (whites only) they will. Everyone wants to work with their own, "Pure Racism"

    April 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  121. Shakka

    Systematic racism. When some of the population is neglected and left without resources and opportunities for over decades, then we see these numbers and will continue to see these numbers.
    "All men are created equal"- it's a great idea, isn't it?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  122. Jesse J Vancouver Canada

    Hi Jack,

    A simple answer is negative images in the media and music.

    People don't understand how bad these images are for young kids and how they shape and mold the thinking of these kids.

    I think America needs to change laws so that unless you finish school you can't drive, work, collect government assistance or get a passport.

    Education needs to be just a big as bailing out Wall Street.... because kids are to vital to let fail!

    Jesse J
    Vancouver Canada

    April 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  123. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Historically, black unemployment is always twice "white" unemployment, with Hispanic unemployment halfway between. There is precious little the Federal government can do to boost employment anyway, and it was done as the first order of business when the President first took office last year. The effects of that stimulus, which always take a long time to be felt, are being felt now. It would have been 20% larger, were it not for the Republican opposition in the Senate. The "bailout", given us by the Bushies before Obama took office, was loans, not gifts, and that money has more than half been repaid, at a profit to the taxpayers. Any action to boost employment taken now will not be effective for at least nine months, so the pressure to hurry up and do something is just not realistic.. The disparity between white and non-white employment is systemic, and will take big policy changes, not just a quick fix. People have a right to be concerned, but you cannot shovel a river uphill no matter how hard you try.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  124. steve- virginia beach

    Because the black and hispanic youth have created a culture among themselves that considers it cool to reject the free education that's offered to them, likely due to a lack of parenting and mentorship to teach them otherwise. And because they make life a living hell for their peers who try to get an education.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  125. caid

    Why does race matter? I could put everybody to work tomorrow.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  126. The Ant vs the grasshopper

    Gobama and the Dumocrats are providing no incentives to private enterprise to create jobs for anyone including the uneducated minorities with higher taxes, higher costs like healthcare......his moral imperatives are actually immoral relative to common sense and capitalism and job creation; how's that change working for us?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  127. Hueman

    Lean times are mean times. My husband and I have MA degrees +10 yrs experience. We were let go & less qualified colleagues were retained. Descrimination is impossible to prove. White people close ranks, neputism, politics... u name it. It's a no brainer. We're out & they make sure they're in. Racism sucks

    April 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  128. Cam

    Jack, the government sent these low paying jobs to China on purpose, so that big business could make bigger profits while the poor here got poorer. Bring back some of that business, and there will be work again.


    April 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  129. Karen, VB, VA

    Gee, maybe it is because the high school dropout rate is higher? Why would any employer want to hire someone who didn't finish high school? Or maybe it is because of the way that they dress for an interview? Or maybe it is because they just expect employers to hire them regardless of their lack of experience? There are many reasons why some people have more trouble becoming employed that have nothing to do with their racial identity.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  130. Paige

    Some companies are using the good ol’boys and girls system. I work for a large coporation. We have been hiring majority white males and females. We have one job where an offer has been made to a Caucasian candidate, however the candidate would like a couple of weeks to make a decision……and we are actually waiting.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  131. Pam holt

    Foley al. Because illegal immigrants are taking alot more jobs away from African Americans, and the sad thing is, that president Obama wants to make it, LEGAL, for them to do it....

    April 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  132. Mari, Utah

    I see that some are blaming President Obama "created tension in civil rights" not true. We still have racists in our Nation, some of the White people do not like to admit that this is true, fine.

    Also, Latinos and African-Americans have a high school dropout rate which does not help.

    BTW the majority of people on welfare are ......... white Americans!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  133. Alisa in Las Vegas, Nevada

    Racisim is passe...This is the year 2010...if you don't realize we're all the children of God & Humanity then you'll never will.

    Today's young people don't feel that way.. they want to judge a man or woman by their deeds and character...not by the beautiful array of skin tones they come in.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  134. Art in WV

    As echoed by most of the comments here, the answer is plain and simple, Jack. The public education system has essentially abandoned schools in the inner city, and that's where most minorities live. There isn't any other way to explain the phenomenon.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  135. Joe, GA

    Maybe the Urban League should focus their efforts on increasing the minority graduation rate, cutting the teenage pregnancy rate, and making it less cool to be a gangster than lining up to get another government handout that everyone knows will be a waste of money. By the way,,wouldn't this proposed program discriminate against people that don't meet the Urban League's guidelines?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  136. Ed Mayberry

    In 1983 the black male unemployment rate was about 20% while the white male rate was about 10%. In 2000 the black male rate was about 8% while the white male rate was about 4%. In short, black male unemployment rates have been about double white male rates for at least 30 years in all economic conditions. The problem with high unemployment rates among black males compared to white males is not unique to this recession, or even any recession. Serious inquiry about the problem needs to recognize this fact first rather than focusing on the current recession.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  137. john, saskatchewan

    Democracy means the equality of peoples regardless of race, color, creed, social status...we obviously don't have that at work here.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  138. John Holmes in San Fernando Valley

    The RACISM card is pulled again. Of course there are more complaints. People cannot find jobs so they say it is racism. If you look deeper you will see other issues. Education, hygiene, compensation, experience, competency, communication skills, criminal past, reliability. I am sure if you look at the people complaining you will find something.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  139. Bill

    Because there are a greater proportion of blacks and Hispanics with "whoa is me" attitudes and a lack of willingness to conform. Race, in today's competitive job market expecially, needs to be put aside by the sucessful job-seeker. There is no room for it. Education, job skills, language skills, conservative appearance, a respectful, polite demeanor ...all the things that are preached over and over again at job fairs...are what will get the applicant hired....regardless of race.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  140. Kurt Hogan

    Come on Jack, are you serious?

    Its great America seems to be gradually becoming less racist but disparities between the races in all areas still exist in the US.

    Its great that we have a sign of gradual change with an African American President but the attitudes of many still hasn't "trickled down" to ordinary working Minorities simply looking for jobs to take care of their families.

    Hampton Virginia

    April 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  141. Philip - Denver

    I believe that there are two reasons why the unemployment rate is higher for minority, one is lock of education, and the other is minorities do not have job or company where they will be able to employ minority. The the companies or corporations are own and operated by the white man or white people so before the black man can be employ, the white man has to be employ first and if there is any space left can be given to anybody else. Even with the education that the minorities have it is still difficult for them to have employment.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  142. Rog er Beaton

    Not that the same can be said for some whites. But with blacks and latinos the percentage is higher. I speak of work habits, reliability, drugs and "sticky fingers". For latinos and the fact that nothing sands in the way of " making babies". For both groups,factor in a pood education and you have some very good reasons not to hire. Instead of finding blame, the black/latino leaders, so called, should be concentrating on improving thecharacter of their youth.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  143. Renee, Ill.

    Because, unfortunately,we're not as post-racist as some of us would like to believe. Racist attitudes are passed on from one generation to the next within families, some have passed down through the centuries from before the civil war. Until that cycle is broken, we're going to continue seeing the effects in our daily lives. Bottom line, until everyone grows up, we're going to be stuck fighting the same social battles over and over again.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  144. Jay in NYC

    While it's always bad to know that one ethnic group of society is less employed than another, I hardly see why it is a moral imperative for the government to give a black or Latino person any advantage over me, an unemployed white person. Attempting to fix a wrong with another wrong is neither morally justified or productive in my book. Why does the government wish to punish me simply because I'm white? My being out of a job is just as important, just as catastophic for me as it is for anyone of of any other race. Race based favoritism is wrong no matter who it intends to benefit!

    April 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  145. andrew in pinehurst, nc


    As a former education administrator, I have observed that black students, as a whole, receive far less support from their parents than the majority of white students. I have noted that a staggering percentage of black students are from one parent families, including a large percentage are children of unmarried parents. Education is secondary. Their unemployment rate will always be higher until these social issues are adequately addressed. It is not politically correct to discuss these issues.

    In regard to Hispanics, the problem is a lack of skilled workers, a lack of education, and difficulty with the English language. These workers (unskilled) are the first to lose jobs and the last to be rehired.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  146. Dan Downes

    High levels of criminal activity, low education levels and a tendency to congregate in areas where nobody is willing to start a business might have something to do with it. I wonder why non-white Asians don't seem to fit this statistic. What we do is who we are. Cultural values are important whether we admit it or not..
    Two decades of importing low skilled workers from Mexico hasn't helped....they now fill many of the jobs which went before to the less adept.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  147. lynne j. in nc

    I am one of those that you speak about. I have been unemployed for 14 years mainly due to illness. I am college educated and well-read. But despite that no one will give me a chance. My age is making It worse. And in this economic downturn, don't even go there.

    I think the main cause for those whom are qualified is the elephant in the room that I don't like to speak about. We're 'over qualified' now is the excuse. Couple that with the need to have a certain look svelte and superficial for women and non-threatening for men, it is not only hard out there, but ugly when you get hired based on who you know and what you look like.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  148. david indiana

    Jack, Is it racist to not include whites?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  149. Fasika

    I believe that the problem is the education. I feel that when people dropout of school, they won't be able to get the job. My opinion is that it's not a racial issue, but an education issue.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  150. Janet

    Duh.....Maybe because blacks and hispanics do jobs that, whites don't feel they have to .Education is a factor in some cases. Most blacks that given the chance to better themselves will; but most find it difficult to even been given a chance.


    April 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  151. Noaj


    The disparity of employment between minorities and whites has always exsisted. It is only new news to the media. Black and brown people are usually not in charge of hiring so when faced with a choice, whites hire the people they feel most comfortable around. If you look at comments from whites on this topic online ignorance and preconcieved notions held by many whites is astonishing. They feel: blacks and hispics are lazy and lack work ethic, are uneducated and are criminals or on drugs just to name a few. With this attitude as prevalant amoung whites as it is, its a wonder the unemployment rate amoung blacks and hispanics is not even higher.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  152. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack - I just read a synopsis of what you've got on this question and it's virtually unanimous - lack of education, criminal or illegal backgrounds and an early in life lack of focus on just what's required to be employed. These folks are their own worst enemies and are therefore at the back of the employment line during tough economic times. In a recession it's strictly , survival of the fittest. Sad, but true.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  153. Joseph Giday

    Wow, Are we expected to be surpised? What has ever been equal for whites Vs. blacks and hispanics? Isn't that the way it ought to be? if we all are equal that will be scarey. Who wants to bring communism and mess this wonderful system. Keep enjoying democracy after all minority complain won't hurt unless they bring employment jihad .

    April 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  154. John B.

    Latinos refuse to learn English. Hold on to the culture of their homeland, and reproduce like rabbits. What employer would hire a worked that would add to his/her Heallth Insurance costs? Why would I hire someone for whon I would need a translator–not only for latinos but also the black form of English. They have themseklves to blame.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  155. kathy johnson

    I think you have to factor in that the blacks may not be as inclined to find work and the hispanics jobs are being taken by illegal aliens that run freely in our country. I am very sure that a great majority would agree with me, but won't admit to it because this would be considered a racial statement. I don't think it is racial, but rather a fact.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:40 pm |

    Why should they work when they can steal and deal and make more money than a professor with a PH.D. ?

    April 6, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  157. Adale Smith

    It's called discrimination Jack, remember. The only way to fix this problem is for the government to step in. Since they kept us in slavery and attached that perception to blacks that we are inferior to the white man. What I would do as restitution to all blacks is for the government to hire only blacks and hispanics for government jobs until the unemployment rate is equal amoung blacks, hispanics and white. Then come up with a hiring process that prevents the elployer from seeing the employee until he is hired for the position- Since racism is institutionalized. Then unless the employee lied on his application the employer has to keep him. INTERVIEW BY INTERNET (INSTANT MESSAGE) If the employer can see or hear the potential employee then he wont know if he is black, hispanic or white and has to hire him based on his qualifications.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  158. Lynn

    This is nothing new, been that way forever.
    You can't blame this on our President.
    This has been going on for many many years, ever since they brought the blacks over on the ships.
    I am white but feel that they should have more education and parental guidence from the time they are born.
    Lord help them.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm |