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Employment Growth a Credit to Obama's Policies, But Black Jobs Crisis Persists

Special to the NNPA from the MIssissippi Link | 5/31/2010, 11:04 a.m.

National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial has cautioned that higher-than-expected job growth last month should not cloud the still-desperate employment crisis among communities of color.

"The need for direct job-creation legislation is still very real," Morial said. "The dangerously-high black unemployment rate of 16.5 percent remains unchanged, and unemployment among Black women is rising while the rate for teenagers remains elevated." Morial noted that the percentage of long-term unemployed - 27 weeks or longer - rose to 45.9 percent of the total unemployed.

"The level of long-term unemployed is unprecedented and points to a core group who are being left out of the growth in jobs," he said.

The real unemployment rate - the officially unemployed plus the underemployed and those no longer looking for work - is 17.1 percent.
Morial said President Obama's leadership, particularly with regard to the Recovery Act, has begun to lift the country out of the crisis, but more needs to be done if every segment of society is to share in the recovery.

"The need for legislation could not be more clear, and a cost-benefit analysis shows the legislation would grow the economy and even trim the federal deficit through a combination of savings and increased revenue," he said.

The analysis is available on the National Urban League's new State of Urban Jobs website, at www.nul.org/content/state-urban-jobs.
Morial said the National Urban League launched the website to bring the jobs crisis into sharper focus, highlight the League's Plan for Job Creation, and provide a forum for the unemployed. In addition to analysis and data, the site includes a jobs bank and help for job seekers.