Despite this country’s slow climb towards economic recovery, a National Women’s Law Center analysis shows that the unemployment rates have improved for all but one demographic – black women.
According to Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center:
“The slowdown in job growth isn’t the only red flag in today’s employment data. While unemployment rates for all other groups of workers are lower than a year ago, the unemployment rate for African-American women has not improved over the past year, and stands at 10.6 percent.”
While black women continue to falter, unemployment rates for men have improved significantly over the last year. However, this isn’t a cut and dry issue of gender inequality. In fact, overall, adult women, adult white women and adult Hispanic women all saw improvements in unemployment as well.
Adult African-American women were the only group (male or female) whose unemployment rate saw no net change over the last year. These statistics are alarming and beg one question: Why?
It is not surprising that women lag behind men in the race for jobs, but why are black women bringing up the rear? Although labor economists, sociologists and other research experts have offered many explanations for the persistent employment gap — there’s no consensus on causes.
What makes this data even more daunting is the reality that half of all black children in the country live with a single mother. That means black families headed by single black mothers are quite literally at the bottom of the economic food chain.
Joan Entmacher from NWLC maintains, “lawmakers must act to promote a stronger — and more widely shared — recovery,” and she’s right. It is the obligation of lawmakers to address and represent constituents of all walks of life. Lets see if Congress heeds her advice when they reconvene on September 8th.
Black women — and the families they support — are depending on it.