The benefits of the economic recovery that started in 2009, such as higher wages, more job opportunities and increased rates of homeownership, are reaching African-Americans much less than other demographic groups, according to a report released Thursday by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.
Citing a variety of measures, including the continuing elevated unemployment rate among African-Americans, the CAP authors conclude that, among blacks, “employment, income, wealth, and homeownership—grew much slower than those of Latinos and declined in relation to those of Asian Americans and whites” over the last two years. The report examines data from June 2009, when the recession officially ended, to the end of the last year.
“While economic opportunities are beginning to improve somewhat for Latinos, Asian-Americans, and whites, African-Americans are the clear exception—their economic fortunes continued to decline in 2011,” the report says.
The data shows disparities, such as much lower rates of health insurance for blacks and Latinos, that already existed before the recession have widened over the last two years. For example, from 2009 to 2011, the number of blacks working for the minimum wage increased by almost 17 percent, compared to a 5 percent increase among whites.
Homeownership rates, which have dropped among all groups over the last two years, fell by a higher percentage among blacks and Latinos than whites. The number of blacks in a private sector job with an employer-based retirement plan decreased over the last two years, even as it went up among whites and Hispanics.