By Thembi Ford
The numbers say that the economy is bouncing back and unemployment declined from 9.0 percent to 8.6 percent last month. But a recent study by the National Women’s Law Center shows that we shouldn’t celebrate just yet.
It’s true that unemployment is down on a national level, but black women actually lost more jobs during the economic recovery than during the recession — the unemployment rate for black women increased from 12.6 percent to 12.9 percent. This increase represents both a loss of approximately 25,000 jobs and the departure of 150,000 black women from the workforce as “discouraged workers.” Why is this happening?
A representative from the National Women’s Law Center had this to say:
“For women as a whole, and particularly black women, cuts in public sector employment have been devastating. When it comes to job growth in the private sector, women are also doing less well than men. Whether employers feel it is more important to put men back to work first, we just can’t say at this point.”
Experts also say that although men were hit hardest by the recession, they have also rebounded more quickly than women have, but the recovery data shows that women have slowly been put back to work. But for those women who lost jobs, over 40% of them were black women.
Black unemployment has fallen, unemployment among women has fallen, but black women have been losing jobs at a significant rate? The facts are troubling but the part that’s hard to accept is that this country’s much-celebrated economic recovery is in some part coming at the expense of black women.
Read more at The Washington Post.
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