Business

Economic reform is crucial to improving the lives of black Americans


After the release of the US Department of Labor employment statistics Earlier this month for April, one of the editors of our New York bureau asked what stood out to me.

Like most American working journalists, I was impressed by how few jobs were created last month, և how the report meets anecdotal requirements deficiency“I was so focused on the low number of people hired to rent leisure and hospitality that I never responded to the editor.”

But I, together with everyone, ignored an indicator that was more worrying. Unemployment has reached among black Americans 9.7 percent even when the overall unemployment rate was 6.1 percentFor whites, the figure was 5.3 percent.

A year after the assassination of George F. Floyd, America has reassessed the discriminatory practices in the workplace, in the police, in housing, in health care, and even in infrastructure repairs. But I wonder if these changes, while possible, can significantly improve the lives of blacks if economic reform is not a priority.

Unemployment is almost always present among black Americans double whites, a phenomenon attributed to inconsistencies in educational opportunities և social networks, as well as discrimination in the workplace. Historically, the two figures have tended to move in at least the same direction.

When the cowboy crisis began more than a year ago, black Americans were just beginning to take advantage of the ten-year-old bull market. The health crisis then targeted their communities, shutting down areas where their jobs are heavily concentrated, including restaurants և retail, kill them at disproportionately high rates,

It remains to be seen whether the evolving United States recovery will target black Americans as well as their economic needs. tend to be ignored,

White America begins to emerge from 2008 financial crisis in 2012, but black America clashes double-digit unemployment years later: Some economists have blamed the Treasury Department for the two-stage recovery, saying it would allow Wall Street fears of rising inflation rates before unfavorable workers are hired.

Others say that slow recovery is a symptom of America’s centuries-old neglect of the economic needs of black people.

That was immediately after the liberation of the United States from slavery in 1865 promised Give each of them a “40 acre mule” to ensure their economic freedom as well (mules would be loans). It never happened. Instead, a stock system emerged that kept newly liberated people economically dependent on their former owners.

“I do not think the black community ever recovered from slavery,” said Trahern Cruz, co-founder of the Minnesota Black Lives Matter Matter.

Cruz says government owes black Americans centuries-old damages in the form of $ 1.6 billion, which the United States paid to Japanese-Americans during World War II time:

Advocates say compensation is the best way to close the growing white wealth gap in America. Such a policy is highly controversial, but has received public support in recent years. The bill to set up a federal commission to study the concept was approved by the House Judiciary Committee in April.

After all, job opportunities are a major issue for black Americans, says Rashad Robinson, chairman of the color change organization. “When we ask people what is most important, they talk about work, they talk about salary, they talk about being able to have a quality standard of living,” he said.

The Biden administration says it will not allow the Covid recovery program to continue as before. pledged base its economic targets on the unemployment rate instead of the total.

“No economic recovery can be complete if some communities are left behind,” said Jan Ben Jones, chief economist at the Department of Labor.

taylor.rogers@ft.com:



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