Unemployment Rate for Black Women Higher Now Than Four Years Ago
4:15 pm, July 12th | by Grace Rasmus
Four years ago last month, the economic recovery from the Great Recession officially began. While unemployment rates have generally improved for most demographics, it is still higher for Black women now than it was during the slow-down, according to a new report from the National Women’s Law Center.The unemployment rate for Black women currently stands at 12 percent, compared to 11.8 percent in June 2009. It is nearly 1.7 times higher than the rate before the crash.
While men were initially hit hardest by the recession, the gap between men’s and women’s unemployment rates closed in early 2012 when public sector job losses disproportionately affected women. Black women have been hurt by cuts affecting both groups.
Black unemployment has hit highs that haven’t been seen since the mid-1980s. The unemployment rate of Black workers is expected to be above 10 percent for the next decade. Black workers, both men and women, have also experienced the longest median durations of unemployment: 37.9 weeks for women and 36.6 weeks for men.
Although the market is experiencing job growth (kind of), most of the opportunities are low-wage and temp positions, offering little in terms of pay and benefits, and pay continues to get worse, with occupations at the bottom of the pay scale seeing wages erode the fastest.