Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The UCLA labor center and the LA Black Worker Center released a new report detailing how Black workers are struggling in Los Angeles County. Overall Blacks have lost employment and population in Los Angeles. Many jobs Blacks held in manufacturing have moved overseas. In Construction, Blacks have largely been replaced by Latinos. The high unemployment and low incomes have long term sociological and health effects on Black people in Los Angeles.
Among the report highlights...
"Blacks with a high school education or less have double the rate of unemployment as Whites."
"1 in 10 Black workers with a higher degree are unemployed."
"Many Black workers in low-wage jobs earn less than White workers in similar postions." "Blacks earn on 75% of what Whites earn."
The report also highlight Blacks leaving Los Angeles for the Inland Empire. About 250,000 Blacks have moved to the Inland Empire.
The study proposes solutions such as creating high-paying, quality, accessible jobs. Expanding hiring benchmarks for under represented groups. And partnerships with institutions to implement targeted outreach, recruitment and retention programs.
The the UCLA labor center report is available here.
LA Times has a nice summary.
As a writer, I sometimes have a lot of time on my hands. To kill some of that time, I listen to Black Talk radio. There are some good stations out there but nothing like when I was growing up.
I grew up listening to Mary Mason in Philadelphia on WHAT 1340 AM, and Cathy Hughes on WOL 1450 AM when I lived in DC and Gary Byrd on WLIB 1190 AM in New York City.
Here is a list of Black Talk Radio station I check in on via the internet.
900 AM - WURD, Philadelphia
1690 AM - WVON, Chicago
1380 AM - WAOK, Atlanta (CBS)
1450 AM - WOL, Washington DC (Newsone)
1010 AM WOLB, Baltimore (Newsone)
1200 AM WCHB, Detroit (Newsone)
Sirius XM Urbanview (Pay wall)
You really have to hand it to Cathy Hughes, the found of Radio One. She purchased WOL in DC and continue to build an empire of Black radio stations. Her story is one of the most inspiring in the media business.
Radio Ones corporate site is here.
Radio One is one of the few Black managed publically traded companies.
PS. One of the stupidest moves I have ever made in my life was not listening to Cathy Hughes. When she was on the air she constantly invited members of the community to join the ownership of WOL. I chose not to participate in WOL for whatever lame excuse I had at the time. Boy was I stupid.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
US Lifting US is hosting a Black economic conference March 18th, 2017 in Atlanta Georgia. The theme of the conference is "Family Centered Economics."
Shrine of The Black Madonna
946 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30310
For more details visit the webpage at
Here is a video of the 2015 conference.
2015 Conference Video
Atlanta Black Star has a nice write-up of the conference.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The BLS released the first monthly employment situation report under President Donald Trump. The report was surprisingly good. The number of new jobs, Non Farm Payrolls, increased by 235,000 jobs which is well above the long-term averages. Unemployment rates across all major groups were flat or down. And there was a surprising bump (+58,000) in construction and manufacturing (+28,000) jobs. Healthcare and education added 62,000 spots. Retail Trade lost (-28,000) jobs ad information technology(no new jobs) was flat. Wages also increased by six cents which is also above average.
The February report showed a small decrease in the US unemployment rate to 4.7% while the Labor Force Participation rate remained flat at 63.0%. Average wages increased by 6 cents in February after a 5 cent increase in January. The number of unemployed stayed at about 7.5 million people.
Here is the chart of Non-farm Payrolls over time since the recession.
The national unemployment rate was 4.7%. After a steep decline during the recovery, the rate has flattened recently. The Labor Force Participation rate continues to increase.
President Trump has been given a gift of a strong economy with few short-term issues. The economy is performing well enough for the Federal Reserve Bank to raise interest rates. The employment report, along with the stock market, are the two main economic indicators the average person pays attention to in the news.
The President may want to look at some of the following long-term issues that affect his his supporters and all of us. He could tackle slow wage growth and the shift to a service economy from a manufacturing economy. requiring high levels of education in the job market
Present Trump has attacked the BLS in the past
President Trump is also noted for a having criticized the accuracy of the BLS unemployment reports. He used misleading definitions of unemployment during the presidential campaign. Trump will almost certainly try to make cuts at BLS, US Census and EEO offices as he continues to 'wage war on the facts."
The Black unemployment rate rose to 8.1%. The rate is volatile because of the small sample size and moves around a lot. But the overall trend has been decreasing. Black men older than 20 years have an unemployment rate of 7.85% while Black women have a rate of 7.12%.
White the Black Unemployment rate ticked up, the long term trend in participation look good since the end of 2013. Black people are finally getting jobs as White leave the job market. It looks like more Blacks are returning to the job market so the unemployment rate is fixed while the participation rate increases.
The "Real" Black unemployment rate stayed at a relative high at 12.6% showing continued slack in the Black labor market.
The national U-6 rate show continued improvement dropping to 9.2%. U-6 includes all unemployed, people working part time who want full time work, and marginally attached workers (basically everyone who is available to work and wants to work)
The Business Survey showed strong employment growth especially in private goods producing sectors.
Again, strong job growth was across many industries. The suprise category was consturction(+58K which may have been helped by warm weather in January and February.
ADP reported 298,000 new jobs were created in February 2017. The jobs were split among small businesses (+104,000), medium sized businesses (+122,000) and large businesses (+72,000). ADP report a big jump in good producing jobs which increased by 106,000 including 66,000 in construction. Service business hired 193,000 people. including 66,000 in business services and 40,000 each in Ed/Health and Leisure/Hospitality, respectively. .
Paychex small business jobs index was up slightly (0.03%) to 100.78 in February for straight month of increases.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Overall, Black Americans, like many in the US, are not doing well. The 2007 recession and financial crisis led to a huge number of foreclosures wiping out a huge amount of Black wealth. Jobs remain scarce. As of 2016 has Black unemployment has recovered to 2007 levels.. The Black unemployment rate of 7.8% is the same or below the 2007 rate. Black people have lost 10 years of income and wealth.
There is some good news. Incomes are slowly rising. More Blacks are participating in the labor force while White Men drop out. Blacks tend to work in Service and Transportation jobs. Black business ownership was flat in the latest survey.
Living in Poverty was report by 26% of Blacks. One in five (21.5%) Black households worries about food and 26% collect food stamps.
Educationally, we graduate high school at almost the same rate as Whites but attend college at a lower rate (10% difference). We graduate from college at an even lower rate(20% difference) as compared to Whites. Black student debt is estimated at twice that of Whites.
White economic indicators are trending flat or down, social and health indicators are moving in the right direction. Life expectancy has increased while infant mortality has decreased. Health insurance coverage is up and crime has dropped.
Finally, the measures of economic opportunity do not look good. By one estimate, a Black poor child has only a 4% chance of being a rich adult and a 50% chance of remaining a poor adult.
Finally, if you have a Black statistic you would like added to the report, please send and e-mail to:
Net worth is the most basic measure of wealth. It is the value of assets a household controls. Middle class people in the US usually have one large asset: their home. The rich have multiple real estate properties and investment assets. The poor have no assets at all.
The ratio of Black wealth to White wealth was 12/100 meaning Blacks has just 12% of the assets of Whites and Whites were 8 times richer than Blacks.
|2013 Median||2013 Mean||Median Ratio to White|
Here is the trend over the past 12 years. Black home ownership took a huge hit during the last recession.
Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finance, 2013
Total Stock Levels (in Thousands)
Home Ownership Rate
The Black home ownership rate has recovered since the 2007 recession but still trails the White rate by more than 30%. Home Ownership Rate is the number of household
|4Q 2016 Rate|
The majority of Black mortgages are non-conventional mortgages.
Black 2013 Mortgage Loan Applications 186,074/ Originated 113,723
We continue to see lower rates of loans made to Black applicants. Also, a higher percentage of the loan are non-conventional loans when compared to Whites.
Black / White 2016 Ratio 80%
Here is a chart of median weekly earnings for the period 2000-2016.
Black households have a median (half above and half below) income of about earn about $37,000 dollars.
Below is a graph of the trend since 1972.
One common question is: "How much money do Black people in the US earn collectively?" Well, there are two different measures: one is income and the other is called "Total Money Income (TMI)" which includes transfer payments. In 2015, we earned $610 Billion in income and had a TMI of $898 billion.
The figure for Black Alone or in Combination is even larger at $949 Billion. Black AOIC includes Black people and mixed race and Hispanic people who identify as Black.
|Pop. Change||Real Income Change|
Where do Black people work ?
Blacks are underrepresented in Management, Business, Science and the Arts(MBSA) and in Natural Resources and Farming, Construction and Maintenance(NRCM). They are over represented in Services and Transportation.
PTMM - Production, Transportation and Material Management
|Sales & Office||---||23.6%||---||17.1%||---||30.8%|
|Sales & Office||---||23.8%||---||17.1%||---||31.3%|
|Sales & Office||---||25.2%||---||18.7%||---||30.8%|
|Hispanic / Latino||Total||24,845,756||100%||14,055,426||100%||10,790,330||100%|
|Sales & Office||---||21.9%||---||14.7%||---||31.3%|
|Sales & Office||---||19.8%||---||16.7%||---||23.2%|
Total Employment Levels
Black employment continues to grow while White employment is decreasing.
Key Black Unemployment Rates at the end of 2016
Table Black Unemployment 7.8%
|2014||% of Total
|2015||% of Total
Child Poverty (18 and Under)
|2014||% of Total
|2015||% of Total
Food Security by Household 2015
Food security is defined at three levels: 1) food secure, 2) low food security and 3) very low food security. Food secure is defined as "access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy
life for all household members." People who are food insecure do not meet condition one. They have either low food or very low food security. Very low food security is defined as "one or more household members had reduced eating patterns and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food."
|Low||Low %||Very Low||Very Low %|
Source: Household Food Security in the United States 2015, www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/err215/err-215.pdf
Individual Food Stamps Participants
Eleven million Black people participate in the food stamp program.
Children Raised by Single Parents (in 000)
|Total Pop. 18 and older||High School or Higher||% of Pop.||Bachelors or Higher||% of Pop.|
Source: 2015 American Community Survey
Black 6 year or less college graduation rate (2008-2014) 40.9%
Source DOE: National Center for Educational Statistics, Postsecondary Graduation Rate, 2014, Table 326.10
Note: Cohorts are from 1996 to 2007.
Note: We used "Persons 25-29 educational attainment high school or greater" as an indicator of having completed high school or the equivalent.
Source Department of Education: National Center for Educational Statistics, Postsecondary Graduation Rate, 2014, Table 104.20
Black college students have about $7,300 dollars in extra debt compared to White college students and $24,000 more 4 years later.
4 years Later
Note: The US Department of Education does not collect statistics on total debt by race. Brookings has estimated the amounts.
Source: https://www.brookings.edu/research/black-white-disparity-in-student-loan-debt-more-than-triples-after-graduation/, Oct, 2016 Report(2012 Data)
|Per 1000 Live Births||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013|
Source: National Vital Statistics Report
Source: CDC National Vital Statistics Reports https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_08.pdf
|Per 1000 Live Births||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015|
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS Data Brief No. 264, November 2016 and https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db259.pdf
Seventy-One(71) percent of all Black children are born to unmarried women.
Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women
|Percent of Live Births||2015|
Birth Rates for Unmarried Women
|Per 1000 Live Births||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014|
Source: National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 64, No. 12, December 23, 2015
Close to 90% of all people have health insurance including 88% of Black people. Health insurance is either private or government funded.
Source: US Census, Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2015
|Violent Crime Total||386,467||232,180||60.1%||140,543||36.4%||77,557||23.9%||5,696||1.5%|
|Property Crime Total||1,125,950||779,529||69.2%||312,647||27.8%||146,980||16.4%||13,892||1.2%|
RBLT is Robbery, Burglary, Larceny, Theft and Motor Vehicle Theft. Drug related is the same as Drug Abuse Violations. DUI plus Alcohol is Driving while under the influence, Liquor Laws and Drunkenness.
Source: FBI Uniform Crime Report, 2015, Arrest by Race and Ethnicity
|Year||Total||Total Male||White||Black||Hispanic||Other||Total Female||White||Black||Hispanic||Other|
|Male per 100,000||Female per 100,000|
|Year||Total||Total Male||White||Black||Hispanic||Other||Total Female||White||Black||Hispanic||Other|
Source Bureau of Justice Statistics
Harris Poll Happiness Index by Race
Source: Harris Poll Happiness Index, June 2013
He found that White men in the lowest one-fifth (quintile) of income had a 26% change of remaining in the lowest fifth and a 10% chance of moving to the highest fifth(top quintile). Black men from the lowest fifth of income and a 50% chance of remaining in the lowest group and only a 4% chance of making it to the top fifth.
Note: Data is from 1978-86 for parents and 2003-2007 for children. Data analysis was published in 2014.
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