San Francisco Chronicle, January 4, 2013
While the Obama Administration touts the steady-and-slow growth of the latest national employment numbers Friday, here's some stats that they're not touting: Unemployment grew among African-Americans and young people in December.
The UC-Berkeley Labor Center points out Friday that while the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8 percent in December, it bumped up to 14 percent among African-Americans. Among those between the ages 18-29 years-old, it was 11.5 percent — up from 10.9 the month before.
"If you factor in those young people who have simply given up looking for work, the rate is actually 16.3 percent," wrote Terence Grado Friday on the blog of Generation Opportunity, which advocates for Millennial generation types.
"Our leaders in Washington can continue to make it seem like things are getting better, but the fact remains that way too many young people are scraping by, falling further behind on their student loan payments, still living at home with their Mom and Dad, sending out hundreds of resumes, and filling out numerous job applications, all with little or no result. While seasonal hiring for the holidays has given some Millennials a job, these temporary positions are far from ideal as young people look to get into the game and get started in life.
Among whites the rate nudged up to 6.9 percent (up from 6.8 percent) and dropped among Latinos to 9.6 percent from 9.9 percent.
But as National Council of La Raza pointed out Friday, "However, these are not decidedly positive signs for Latino workers because growth in the number of Latinos not in the labor force was nearly as large as growth in the number of Latinos in the labor force."
The White House — in the form of Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers — said Friday that the latest jobs stats "provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression."
But some communities are healing faster than others.