In an article called “Blacks Miss Out as Jobs Rebound in New York City”, The New York Times’ Patrick McGeehan investigates the disparity in how the New York jobs recovery has affected Black men in New York City.
More than half of all of African-Americans and other non-Hispanic blacks in the city who were old enough to work had no job at all this year, according to an analysis of employment data compiled by the federal Labor Department. And when black New Yorkers lose their jobs, they spend a full year, on average, trying to find new jobs — far longer than New Yorkers of other races.
Despite the fact that nationally, the jobs statistics for Black men seems to be looking up, New York City’s stats remain dire. Some of the factors McGeehan outlines are “wrong place, wrong time” scenarios. Apparently Black men are overrepresented in jobs that haven’t made the recovery.
McGeehan quotes David R. Jones, president of the Community Service Society of New York:
Mr. Jones said he was also troubled by the inability of less-skilled and less-educated workers to find jobs for long periods. For example, he said, his agency, which provides services to poor and low-income New Yorkers, found that about half of the people holding jobs as security guards had bachelor’s degrees or had attended college. That was up from about 26 percent six years ago, he said.
“The wage didn’t go up,” Mr. Jones said. “This is a low-wage job. It pays $10 an hour with no health insurance.”
Regardless of the cause, the disparity is alarming. So many people have been out of work so long that they’re now categorized as “discouraged workers”—those who have given up looking for work:
Four years ago, there were about the same number of discouraged blacks and whites in the city. But since then, the number of discouraged black workers has grown to almost 40,000, from about 13,000, while the number of discouraged whites increased to about 22,000, from about 12,000.
What do you think of this disparity in job growth? Is it truly “wrong place at the wrong time” or is it true that many employers simply do not want to hire Black men when caucasians are also applying?