Blacks fall further behind whites, Latinos in job market, report says

Arthur Gosey participates in a "ready to work" rally held by the Los Angeles Black Worker Center last year at Leimert Park. A new report released Thursday pointed out that blacks were falling behind whites and Latinos when it came to employment and income.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

African Americans are falling further behind their white and Latino counterparts when it comes to employment and income, according to a new report from the National Urban League released Thursday.

The annual report, called the State of Black America, noted that 13.1% of African Americans were without jobs, compared with 6.5% of whites and 9.1% of Latinos.

“Nationally, both African Americans and Latinos lost economic ground relative to whites,” the report said.

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The disparity can also be seen in incomes in neighborhoods around the U.S.

Over half of African American and Latino households in the U.S. earn incomes that place them below middle class, compared with 35.5% of white households. Nearly a quarter of white households rank in the top 20% of incomes in the country, compared with only 10% of black households and 11% of Latino households.

In Riverside, black and white households have the smallest gap in median incomes. The household income for black families was $44,572, about $12,700 less than for white households.

“African American and Latino households are more skewed toward the lower end of the income distribution,” the report said.


The report also took a look at job rates and inequality in 77 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with large black populations and 83 places with big Latino populations, according to data from the Census Bureau.

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The smallest gap in employment between blacks and whites was in the Augusta, Ga., region, where 13.3% of blacks were jobless compared with 8.5% of whites. A few areas in California also can boast a smaller gap between black and white jobless figures compared with the national average, including the Inland Empire and the San Diego metro area.

Cities with more equality between blacks and whites may simply have a better job market for everyone, the report said. The areas with the smallest gaps in employment between the two groups also tend to have better job rates for both blacks and whites.


African Americans did not surpass their white counterparts when it came to jobs or income at any of the cities in the report. Latinos, however, did exceed white workers in some cities.

In Memphis, for example, 6.5% of whites did not have jobs, compared with only 3.8% of Latinos. Whites fared worse in the job market in other areas as well, including Nashville and Indianapolis.


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