State of the Union: Proposals may do little to reduce black unemployment

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President Obama’s proposals in the State of the Union address may do little to address immediately the 15.8 percent unemployment rate among African-Americans.

Experts say the black jobless rate shot up over the last four years in part because African-Americans are disproportionately employed in manufacturing and state and local government, two sectors that were heavily hit by the economic downturn.

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Obama’s speech included a number of ideas to further speed up the revival of American manufacturing. But many of his ideas, such as provisions to raise the tax rates for companies that ship jobs overseas, may not pass the Republican House of Representatives.

Perhaps aware it would be dead on arrival because of GOP opposition, Obama did not propose any additional aid to states, which was included in the 2009 stimulus and helps prevent layoffs of state employees, many of whom are black.

And Obama, as he has done throughout his term, did not propose any specific, targeted provisions that would help cities with extremely high black unemployment rates like Milwaukee.

Follow Perry Bacon Jr. on Twitter at @perrybaconjr