Black Women Hit Hardest With Job Losses Since Recovery Began

Allow me to put things in perspective for those still actually “getting it” about Black unemployment in America. You know, the people who don’t understand why Black folks are bitching more than usual? C’mon, we Black people do complain about a lot of things; and yes, some of them can be trivial. But when it comes to money, or the lack thereof? Umm, yeah, that’s something we don’t play about and ain’t played about since we stopped picking cotton for free.

So recently, we found out that the rate of employed Black males hit a forty year low. Yes, the Great Recession has kicked brothas square in the nuts. But a recent report from the National Women’s Law Center shows that the sistas aren’t doing much better. According to them, Black women have lost more jobs than everybody – yes, even m0re than Black men – while the economy has been in recovery. What’s scary about this, is that the recession is officially over.

Check this out:

While the recession hit black men harder than any other group, the economic recovery has shifted that impact to their female counterparts, according to a recent report by the National Women’s Law Center, which shows that black women have lately seen their unemployment rate rise even as other populations—including black men—have finally begun to regain jobs.

Between June 2009 and June 2011, black men gained 127,000 jobs while black women lost more than twice that number, 258,000, the report says. That means that black women have now lost more total jobs than have black men since the recession began in December 2007.

“We hear back from women suggesting that some employers think it’s more important for men to get back to work than for women,” said Joan Entmacher, the National Women’s Law Center’s vice president for family economic security, citing anecdotes from women she has interviewed. “I suspect that is one of the things at work.”

But on the contrary, the report suggests that women are more critical to the economic health of the black population.

“Black women are a majority [53.4%] of the black workforce, head a majority [52.8%] of black families with children, and were more economically vulnerable even before the recession started,” according to the report.

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this month introduced his “Young Men’s Initiative” program—which will spend $127.5 million to improve education, job placement, health and criminal justice outcomes for young black and Hispanic men—many cheered the effort. But some advocates lament the failure to address women’s economic struggles.

“It’s really important that we pay attention to what’s going on with black men and black male teens and the barriers they face for employment,” said Kate Gallagher Robbins, an analyst at the National Women’s Law Center. “But it’s also critical that we focus on what’s happening for black women and black teen girls.”

In fact, women of all races are suffering disproportionately during the weak recovery, as public sector jobs shrink under the chokehold of tightened budgets. Women hold a high percentage of those jobs, largely because local governments were the first places to implement fair employment practices, said Jeff Hayes, senior research associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

“That’s the first place they found good jobs and careers, because there were routinized rules for hiring,” Mr. Hayes said.

With debt deal cuts on the horizon that will further limit public-sector spending, black women and teens aren’t likely to see relief soon.

“Certainly the cuts that have been happening in the government and the public sector are not helpful to these women,” said Ms. Gallagher Robbins. Instead, budget plans should focus on job creation, she said, for example through investments in infrastructure and tax credits for businesses who hire new employees.

“With no assistance to state and local governments, and no talk of any stimulus, it’s looking pretty gloomy—especially for black women,” said Mr. Hayes. (source)

Isn’t it peculiar that not many people are talking about this? Well, not really; I mean, it is Black women we’re talking about here. Nobody in the media especially ever cares about their economic well being.  After all, that’s why they invented TANF and ghetto fabulous platinum EBT cards. But no, instead all you ever see are those stories of hopeless single Black women destined to die alone in a one bedroom apartment surrounded by cats. Didn’t mean to depress you, but, the shit is real.

As women’s job losses mount, some women—especially unmarried women—are facing an increasingly grim job market. Unmarried women have much higher unemployment than married women. In October, 10.3 percent of unmarried women age 20 and over (3.3 million) and 5.7 percent of married women (2.1 million) were unemployed (see figure below; all data by marital status is not seasonally adjusted). Although unmarried women represent less than half (46.5 percent) of all women workers, they account for 6 in 10 (60.8 percent) of women workers who are unemployed. The situation is worse for unmarried women who head families, most of whom are single mothers, who now have an unemployment rate of 12.6 percent, 2.4 percentage points above the national average.

Unmarried women and men have both seen a sharper rise in unemployment over the past year, compared to their married counterparts. Between October 2008 and October 2009, the increase in the unemployment rate of unmarried women (3.6 percentage points) was more than twice the increase of their married counterparts (1.7 percentage points). Unmarried women with families had a 4.1 percentage-point increase over the last year. These trends are reflected among men, too: Unmarried men’s unemployment rate rose 5.0 percentage points over the last year, to 14.1 percent in October; married men’s rose 3.0 percentage points to 6.5 percent. (read more)

Stay strong sisters!