Survey: 38% of African-Americans Have Lost Job in Last Three Years

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

In a recent survey taken by Your Black World, 38.3 percent of African American respondents said that they’ve lost their job at some point during the last three years.  This number is higher than the current black unemployment rate of 16.1 percent because most of those who lost their jobs were able to find another position.  But of those  who were able to find another job, 88.5 percent of the respondents were unable to find another position of equal or higher pay.

The survey had 839 respondents (slightly smaller than the typical CNN poll of slightly over 1,000, which is used to sample a population that is ten times larger).  The three-year period was chosen to coincide with the start of the latest economic downturn. Roughly 62.7 percent of the respondents were female, and the rest were male.  Additionally, two-thirds (67 percent) were college educated.

When asked if Washington politicians are doing enough to address black unemployment levels in America, 95.2 percent of the respondents said no.   When asked if the black unemployment situation would affect their voting in the next presidential election, 51.3 percent said that it would, while 48.8 percent of respondents said that it would not.

We took the survey here at Your Black World to get a sense of the economic climate within the African American community.  The Your Black World audience tends to be older and more educated than the general population, but the mere notion that nearly 40 percent of the respondents have lost a job in the last three years is nothing short of mind-boggling.  Additionally, the poll results are indicative of general downward mobility of the African American community, given that most of those who lost their jobs were unable to find equivalent employment.

The survey also shows that the deep and consistent economic depression within the African American community affects millions of Americans at all socio-economic levels, creating a situation that must be addressed through some degree of assertive political action. Even in Prince Georges County, the wealthiest black county in America, foreclosure rates continue to skyrocket.  Rather than focusing our collective energy on one particular person in Washington, nearly every Washington politician must be accurately assessed to determine what they are doing to help alleviate the situation.

Given that African Americans also pay taxes and other constituents have received financial support from the federal government, some would argue it to be imperative that we expect equal support from the federal government.  Additionally, initiatives to support black business and fight employment discrimination in the workplace (nearly 90% of our respondents say they’ve experienced workplace racial discrimination) would serve to fix the black unemployment problem.  The time for progressive change is now, and it can’t be delayed any longer.  Something simply must be done.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

 

  • http://www.coachisha.com Isha Cogborn

    I’ve lost two. After the first layoff, I started a professional development company (training and coaching) and did well on my own. I moved to another state and decided to get a “job” for more security. The funny thing about it is that I had LESS MONEY than I did working for myself and the company folded…another layoff! I think I’ve learned my lesson. Entrepreneurship is the way to go for me from now on! http://www.epiphanyinstitute.com. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

    The only time black people had full employment was when we were slaves on the plantation…We cannot expect white people to pass over their own people and hire people who don’t look like them, except if you have a skill or idea they can exploit to benefit themselves…We will have to learn to trust each other, come together and do for ourselves…We’re the only so called intelligent animals who expect our enemies to feed and cloth us…Look at the hyenas or lions, they will not kill and feed their enemies except to trap them for purposes of slaughter, we should keep that in mind as humans that our enemies might be scheming to do just that to us…They have already taken control of the food by removing the seeds from crops so you will not be able to harvest it to grow your own food, tampering with animals to make them grow faster that nature intended, this is what is being done to us in this so called age of civilization…

    • Charsjcca

      I agree 100%. I was always intended to be that way. When some who look like me proposed that I get an education so that I could get a good job they were misleading me. It took a masters degree, plus, for me to make that discovers. I am a slow learner, but I did learn that I was a trained agent working on behalf of the Cape Cod Clan. Understandind that, one wonders how they continue to make the propaganda campaign work. Recently they recruited a group of half-breeds-Tiger Woods and Barack Obama-to make like real.

    • guest

      strait pathetic! why the race card? why enemies?you can buy seeds in the store!
      same old excuses!!! the one true thing you said is do it youself!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

        Seeds sold in stores are GMO’s Genetically Modified Organism and will do for one planting season and will not replicate..Read and learn what Cargill, Monsanto,  ADM, etc had done to our food supply before hiding out behind the guest logo, asshole…

  • http://twitter.com/Blknight96 Blknight96

    This article rings so true on so many levels, being terminated (but termination is going to arbitration) I fortunately found unemployment…but definitely no where close to what I was making at my other job.  Now until my case is settled, after securing this newly found job I can hopefully find another part time job to help close the gap that my salary is leaving me with.
    This administration knows this is a big problem and seems to ignore it, even when shamed to acknowledging even the President is quick to give that infamous bullshit sound bite about “a tide rises all boats”  or something similar to this.  First you have to be in the damn boat before any tide can raise it.
    And what I see from our “black leaders” both in Congress and out is not enough to push this administration to do anything differently.  I see those who have settled for having access to this President, rather than leading the charge to push him.
    I’m still waiting for someone to push a big march to the White House demanding they address the high black unemployment issue in this Country.
    And my vote isn’t a lock for Democrats and this White House will be serious trouble thinking they have a lock on the black vote this time around or counter with this notion that they know we won’t vote for a Republican is our only other choice.  Because there is another choice I’m afraid will be exercised like in the mid term elections, people won’t vote at all.

  • http://blackplanet.com/blkkemet Blkkemet

    Massa feed my chirrens! The only purpose of jobs for the wise is to save as much money as possible so you can quit and create your own freedom. Yeah I know all of yall can’t be managers due to genetic mental deficts but why can’t a so called black man look to another black man to get hired? Cause all of yall worship the peckerwood and only want money so that you may give it right back to him.

  • http://blackplanet.com/blkkemet Blkkemet

    Massa feed my chirrens! The only purpose of jobs for the wise is to save as much money as possible so you can quit and create your own freedom. Yeah I know all of yall can’t be managers due to genetic mental deficts but why can’t a so called black man look to another black man to get hired? Cause all of yall worship the peckerwood and only want money so that you may give it right back to him.

  • Butlerservices2003

    Oh my gosh!!!!! Black people we have to stop being entitled victims! Are we educating our children to be business owners? We know the system was never designed for our success. However, instead of crying and complaining, take action! Instead of teaching our kids how to throw a ball, or rap; Lets start teaching the to be self suffient. Go to school, get a education! Study your chaft(whatever that my be), learn, learn, learn! Stop waiting on checks! Instead be the person who signs the checks! My goodness!

    • God is in Control

      And where will they get the money from to attend college?

      • Guest

        ?? Financial aid. There are still pell grants available which cover most, if not all of the cost of community college tuition. Also, most two year colleges offer need based scholarships. There is nothing wrong with obtaing a trade or technical degree. In fact, if it means graduating without eccessive, debilitating student loans, a two year degree is sometimes preferable to a 4 year degree! If the student desires a 4 year degree, they can use that trade to work and pay for further education as they go. It may not be the “easy” way, but it is do-able. Military service also offers a benefit of college tuition. I am a black female. I did it (and went beyond) with a child in tow after a divorce. Stop with the excuses!

  • Brook

    This article shows just how deep the problem is.  I wonder if the Obama Administration is going to at least acknowledge the problem. 

  • Ms. B

    Thank you, Dr. Watkins, for writing such an informative article.  This issue should have
    been addressed a LONG time ago.  Try being unemployed for the last four years, no
    unemployment benefits, and no source of income…..with a college degree.  IT GETS EVEN WORSE.  It is time for a national discussion with long-awaited plans of action to
    put African-Americans BACK TO WORK!!! 

  • Drlarry

    when other races get a job they look to hire more of there own when most blacks get a government job they look to duck there color and target other blacks in distress  Massa we sick 

  • Timmy

    ONLY 48 PCT OF THE  AVAILABLE WORKFORCE ACTUALLY PAY TAXES, BY RACE 78 PCT OF THE WORKFORCE VS ELGIBLE WHITE WORKFORCE ARE WHITE PEOPLE. ONLY 21 PCT OF ALL AVAILABLE PEOPLE TO WORK IS BLACK WHO ACTUALLY PAY TAXES. MOST BLACK PEOPLE DID NOT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY, TOO LAZY TO WORK, MORE TAX DEDUCTIONS THAN WHITE PEOPLE, HIGHER PCT OF ILLIGITAMIT KIDSD THA WHITES. MY POINT IS, THE AVERAGE BLACK PERSON DOES NOT PAY TAXES. THEY ARE TAKERS AND NOT PAYERS.
    WHY NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA. HE IS GIVING MONEY TO THE MINORITIES WHO BY STATISTICS PAID FOR BY SINGLE WHITES (82 PCT). THE TRUTH HURTS.