Wednesday, July 27, 2016

True Fact from Donald Trump: 58% of Black Youth(16-24) Are Not Working

At the Republican Party Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21st, Donald J. Trump gave his nomination acceptance speech. In his speech, he said that 58% of Black Youth were not working. This is absolutely true.  Nearly 60% of Black youth are not employed. However, non-employment is not the same as unemployment. The Black unemployment rate for 16-24 years old is 22%. During the school term as many as 60% of Black kids are in school (either high school, college or trade).

First, the unemployment rate for Black youths is high but so is the rate for all youth. Many of the summer jobs that kids took to make extra cash and learn work skills are gone. They have been replaced by adults, the poor and immigrants working part-time at low wages.

Trump is correct because only 42% of Black youth are employed meaning that 58% are not working. However that does not mean they want to work.  They could instead be enrolled in school.

The actual calculated unemployment for June 2016 was 22%. Of the 5.85 million Black youth in the US: 2.46 million held jobs, 710K were unemployed and 2.2 million were in school. The Black 16-24 labor force was counted at 3.2 million.

If this country is committed to any kind of fairness and decency and compassion, then the place to start is with our youth. We need to make sure our young people have the opportunity to work.  That should be our number one priority.  Jobs and work make both the individual and society better,

Below is a chart of some key employment statistics for Black Youth (18-24). The Labor Force Participation (LFP) rate, the Employment to Population ratio (EM Ratio) and the Unemployment rate.

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