THE JUNE JOBS REPORT. The Black unemployment rate rose a almost a full point from 13.6% to 14.4% according to the monthly jobs report by the Labor Department. The April unemployment rate for African Americans was reported at 13.6%. Many believe the actual number is much higher in many urban communities.
The Labor Department reports the overall June unemployment rate for all Americans at 8.2% with 80,000 jobs added. The 8.2% unemployment rate is the same number that was reported for May 2012. In April 2012 it was 8.1%.
The Black unemployment rate would appear to be on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. The number dropped one full point in April 2012 to 13% — the second lowest number for Black unemployment since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. When President Obama took office, the Black unemployment was 12.7%. The highest Black unemployment rate during Obama’s time in office was 16.7% in August 2011 — the highest number in 28 years.
During the eight years President George W. Bush was President the Black unemployment number never rose above 13%. The rate reached its highest point of the Bush presidency, in December 2008 at 12.1%.
President Obama and House Democrats, including Assistant Leader Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), continue to push the President’s jobs bill as a way to improve Black unemployment. The legislation, introduced in September 2011, is stalled in the House. To date, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), will not allow a vote on the President’s jobs package so that it may be considered by the House. Much of what is in the President’s jobs bill includes ideas pushed previously by members of the Black Caucus.
The House returns to session next week after a week off for the July 4th holiday.
LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus. She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Evening Rush as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Burke is a former employee of USA Today and ABC News. You can e-mail her at LBurke007@gmail.com follow her on twitter @Crewof42.