High Minority Unemployment Rates Underscore Need for More Action on Jobs
Contact: Mike Wood, 717-255-7180, firstname.lastname@example.org
HIGH MINORITY UNEMPLOYMENT RATES UNDERSCORE
NEED FOR MORE ACTION ON JOBS
Philadelphia Unemployment Rates Still Over 13% for Blacks and Hispanics and Rising for Hispanics
HARRISBURG, PA (July 2, 2012)--The Keystone Research Center today co-released two issue briefs documenting the continuing high unemployment rates of minorities in large U.S. metro areas, including a four-state metro area anchored in five Philadelphia counties. The briefs show unemployment above 13 percent for both African-Americans and Hispanics in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Metro area. These high rates underscore the pressing need for more action from Washington and Harrisburg to create jobs. The Economic Policy Institute published the issue briefs which were written by economist Algernon Austin.
The specific findings for the four-state metro area that includes Philadelphia include:
- The Philadelphia metro area has the fifth-highest Hispanic unemployment rate, 14.3 percent in 2011, and the fourth highest ratio of Hispanic-to-white unemployment rates of the 25 cities.
- The Philadelphia region’s unemployment rate for Hispanic workers jumped 2.2 percentage points in 2011. The change in the Hispanic unemployment rate in this region was larger than in any other metro area in the nation.
- Philadelphia had the 13th highest African-American unemployment rate in 2011, at 13.3 percent, and tied for 10th based on the ratio of black-to-white unemployment rates.
For African-Americans, who make up a disproportionate share of state and local government workers, additional aid to state and local governments is needed. In Pennsylvania, cuts in state spending have exacerbated public sector job losses and the impact on African-Americans. From May 2010 to May 2011, Pennsylvania ranked fourth worst of all states based on percent change in government jobs. Pennsylvania had a decline of 16,900 government jobs in this period, out of every 44 public sector jobs.
For Hispanics nationally, who are overrepresented in the construction sector, infrastructure investments that put construction workers back to work would help drive down unemployment rates.
The briefs examined unemployment rates in metro areas which had large enough sample sizes in the federal Current Population Survey to produce reliable estimates. For African-Americans, this limited the number of areas to 19; and for Hispanics, 25 metro areas could be examined.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is an independent, nonprofit think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States.
The Keystone Research Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that promotes a more prosperous and equitable Pennsylvania economy. Learn more: http://www.keystoneresearch.org .