African-Americans Disproportionally Hurt by Public-Sector Crisis

Akito Yoshikane, In These Times, July 13, 2011

The dismal jobs report released last Friday raised further doubts about a steady economic rebound more than two years after the official end of the Great Recession.

{snip}

African Americans make up 12 percent of the population, but account for 20 percent of the unemployed. And last year, black Americans had the longest unemployment span among all major racial groups, with a median of 26 weeks. The prolonged period of joblessness is raising concerns about a shrinking black middle class, and recent studies have shown that the current spate of budget cuts is hastening the situation.

{snip}

The high unemployment rate is partly attributed to the large reduction of public sector jobs, which is the largest employer of black workers. One out of every five working African Americans are employed by the government, according to the labor department. That comes out to 19.8 percent of the black workforce, compared to 14.6 percent for whites and 11 percent for Hispanics.

As governments continue to trim budgets, the mass layoffs of public employees have disproportionately impacted the African-American community. Since January 2009, more than 429,000 workers employed by state and local governments have lost their jobs, according to labor researchers at the University of California at Berkeley.

{snip}

Moreover, state and local government employment is already at its lowest levels since 2006. But more and more public-sector jobs are disappearing. Overall, there are 1.9 percent fewer government jobs than when the recovery began, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In June, state and local governments shed 25,000 jobs. And it may get worse. Some analysts are predicting that as many as 800,000 to one million public sector jobs will be cut for the next fiscal year.

Such a large reduction in the public workforce will have long-term implications for the black middle class. Wealth disparities between blacks and whites were already staggering before the Great Recession, but the gap has widened even in the aftermath. {snip}

{snip}

{snip} The University of California at Berkeley report, published in April, wrote that the public sector is “the single most important source of employment for African Americans.”

Based on data from 2005-2007, researchers found that a greater concentration of black men and women were employed in higher-paying jobs in the public sector compared to their counterparts in the private sector. In other words, there was a smaller concentration of African Americans in lower-wage jobs. Black women in public administration even had the highest proportion of women in the top-tier income scale than other sectors. African Americans also earned better median wages than other industries; and the wage gap for black and white workers was much smaller.

{snip}

Now, with so many people of color depending on the public sector, further reduction of government jobs might compromise decades of economic progress if new jobs aren’t created soon.

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  • Seek

    If ever there were a case for cutting the public sector, this would be it. One of the main, if unspoken (including by deracinated mainstream conservatives and libertarians), reasons for government agency slowness, is the proliferation of termination-immune black employees.

    In These Times, a hard Left publication, of course, sees a crisis in budget cuts. By contrast, see an opportunity. Democrats no doubt will complain how fiscal austerity is merely a “code word” for putting blacks in their place. Everything to these types of people is a “code word.” Speaking in code is an act of necessity at a time when speaking candidly can be prosecuted as a hate crime.

  • Anonymous

    They would be completely on their own with out “guv-mint cheese” and cushy jobs in the public sector. Has it ever occurred to them to start their own company? Nope, of course not, that requires results!

  • Marc B

    I’ve been called paranoid for noticing such a heavy staffing of blacks in government jobs. These figures point out that my anecdotal assessment accurate and foresee a push for governments to maintain a superficially high government employment despite coffers running dry because of the disparate impact nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    So many blacks in govt.

    Blacks are tribal. Wait till Sharia law becomes a surging trend for “social justice”. They’ll all jump on the bandwagon and make us suffer suffer suffer.

    You know what’s coming.

  • Bernie

    “Now, with so many people of color depending on the public sector, further reduction of government jobs might compromise decades of economic progress if new jobs aren’t created soon.”

    Why does he say “people of color?” Asians and Hispanics have lower rates of government employment than whites.

    He means blacks and should just say so.

    Writers use “people of color” when they don’t want to put such a spotlight on black pathology.

  • AA

    With so many Blacks employed by the government, no wonder the U.S. government is increasingly bankrupt and incompetent.

  • Get Real

    Is there any better possible explanation for why government bureaucracies at all levels (federal, state and local) have failed so miserably? Truthfully, America’s current economic crisis is a product of government mismanagement. Can anyone seriously doubt having one fifth of the public sector jobs staffed by African Americans, most of whom would probably fail in private sector jobs, is not a huge contribute factor to the governmental breakdown?

    Social engineering has failed.

  • Economics Student

    One out of every five working African Americans are employed by the government

    And how many more are employed under government grants to private companies and in government sponsored private programs? How many are employed as quasi-social workers for non-profits, hospitals, schools, etc via taxpayer funded programs?

    I’ll bet at least 1/2 of working blacks get paychecks that are funded by taxpayers, either directly or through grants and subsidies designed to employ unskilled blacks. And that’s not counting Affirmative Action employees shoe-horned into private companies to satisfy government quotas. Outside of fast food and retail industries, there is very little legitimate demand for black “workers”.

  • BO_Bill

    For every direct hire of blacks by the government, there are probably two or three that are hired in private industry to avoid state-supported law-suits and to make the employer eligible for federal contracts. Government contractors are no longer ‘Equal Opportunity Employers’; they now label themselves ‘Affirmative Action Employers’.

    From what I’ve seen, most of the ‘don’t sue us we’re diverse’ slots in competitive industry are filled by blacks directly out of Africa, instead of American blacks who have learned to play the system. We also read that only 51% of adult blacks in America are actually employed. The black population is being set up to go violently out of control and be labeled as the scapegoat when the system fails. See the fight between Cantor and Obama for a preview.

  • Anonymous

    Right – tell me something I don’t already know.

    I took a look at the source – “In These Times” comes off as a Marxist fantasy screed sheet.

    Anyway, this is a funny and very telling leftist piece of hoopla. It’s written right to the choir of believers so they apparently can’t see through the fog of both ideology and idiocy.

    The sole purpose of the article, it seems, is simply to drum up sympathy and support for more government aid to blacks.

    I find it amazing that after all these years both liberals and brainwashed whites do not stop to think just why all this aid is necessary and exactly who is losing out as all this money is essentially being wasted.

    From the article:

    “The prolonged period of joblessness is raising concerns about a shrinking black middle class, and recent studies have shown that the current spate of budget cuts is hastening the situation.”

    Okay – so who is so concerned? The piece makes it sound like whites everywhere are lamenting this awful circumstance. Then, just because budgets need to be balanced for everyone’s sake – basically, it’s simple economics that every family and small business and government must face routinely – blacks are somehow exempt from having to budget anything.

    From the article:

    “One out of every five working African Americans are employed by the government, according to the labor department.”

    Actually, it’s more like 9 out 10 African American are employed (read: supported) by the government. It’s just that 2 out of 10 have somewhere to go during the day to play on Facebook.

    From the article:

    “In places like Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker ignited an anti-union firestorm and threatened to layoff public workers, African-American unemployment was the highest in the country last year at 25 percent.”

    One has nothing to do with the other. It makes it sound like Governor Walker pushed this legislation through solely to lay off black workers.

    From the article:

    “As governments continue to trim budgets, the mass layoffs of public employees have disproportionately impacted the African-American community.”

    Yes, there’s the newest buzz phrase – “disproportionately impacted” – which, in reality, means nothing. I can’t help it if governments were stupid enough to hire countless do-nothing, affirmative-action blacks only to find out later they have no money left. It’s like saying the layoffs of bad employees and company thieves disproportionately impacted lazy, criminal workers.

    From the article:

    “Algernon Austin, director of the EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy, described the wealth gap this way: ‘In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, black households only had two cents.’

    Another big surprise – consider the excellent savings rate and retirement planning among blacks. Thank goodness we spent $10 billion on civil rights initiatives since 1965 – it might be one cent. And again, what does that have to do with public sector job cuts?

    From the article:

    “The lack of jobs in the community prompted the Congressional Black Caucus last week to criticize the Obama administration for the lack of attention given to the crisis. The Huffington Post reports:

    ‘Can you imagine a situation where any other group of workers, if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work and couldn’t find it?’ asked Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat and chairman of the caucus….’There is no way that this would be allowed to stand.’

    The Congressional Black Caucus – that’s a fair and responsible group. It makes the NAACP look good. Perhaps Rep. Cleaver (government employee) should understand that 34% of white women are NOT out of work. Maybe he should ask himself why. Perhaps they are better workers? Perhaps they are more skilled and have a greater work ethic. But no, his remarks are barely hidden claims of our old friend from the left, racism.

    It’s like me saying, “Can you imagine a situation where if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work because space aliens snatched their bodies and erased their brains and turned them into flesh-eating zombies? There is no way that this would be allowed to stand.”

    Well, that’s hypothetically true – but I haven’t seen any sign of space aliens.

    From the article:

    “Now, with so many people of color depending on the public sector, further reduction of government jobs might compromise decades of economic progress if new jobs aren’t created soon.”

    First, if the current situation is “decades of economic progress” then we’re all in more trouble than we can even imagine. I guess the author conveniently forgot about the two cents net worth analogy from a few paragraphs before.

    And despite governments having no money to hire or even keep worthless black affirmative action vagabonds, the author demands that new jobs be “created.” Typical. Take more taxpayer money and simply make up new “jobs” that aren’t needed so blacks can get a paycheck. That’s why we’re in this mess in the first place.

    How about the folks at “In These Times” create a bunch of new jobs and hire about 20 semi-literate blacks fresh with degrees from one of those fine historically black colleges. Can you spell “Bankruptcy”?

    This type of article epitomizes shallow thinking and backward reasoning. Worse, it is dishonest in creating a problem and then hinting at blame rather than looking at the big picture and the need for personal responsibility – or at least accountability.

  • Xenophon

    It could be that critical mass has been reached in the number of incompetents which the government has employed. If that is the case, it will simply be downhill from here. The silver lining in all this is the fact that this will be impossible to hide in the age of the internet. With awareness will come resolve and purpose. That is what it will take to break the hammerlock of a corrupt liberal/minority government and its media handmaiden.

  • MIke Sharkey

    You could supplement the above article with this one from Time.

    http://goo.gl/bXxtI

    Obviously political patronage and jobs creation are more important for the government, than balancing the budget. In this case, it’s apparent that maintaining the jobs necessary to administer a failed program ( Head Start ) is more important that the programs initial purpose.

  • Question Diversity

    7 Get Real:

    Funny you mentioned public sector incompetence. Thanks to blatant incompetence of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys that not even a first day law student would engage in, the Federal perjury case against Roger Clemens was declared a mistrial on only the second day of testimony, and there is a five’ll-getya-ten chance that the judge may have to dismiss the whole she’bang, i.e. Clemens skates. I was just wondering if the AUSAs here are black, because I know that a fair percentage of the AUSAs in the Eastern Missouri division are black, way higher than the black population percentage of the service area.

  • Rob

    Affirmative action is absolutely essential to social order. Think about it. – John Derbyshire

    We may get to find out whether or not Derbyshire is correct.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s one of the reasons for a large amount of race mixing in America; black men have these jobs and white women also are most commonly employed in government. They put them together, while suffling white men out to stand or fall in the private sector. Many stand, but many fall. I most often see a homeless white man than any other category.

    The greatest thing that could be done for the US budget and for the preservation of whites is to shake out all this effluent of non-productive AA jobs. Let them drive trucks and try to be contractors, salesmen, etc.

  • Wayne Engle

    Two observations about this column: Those “statistics” about White and black median net worth differences, I don’t believe for one moment. As far as I’m concerned, they’re preposterous. Somebody’s cooked the figures — no, burned them to a crisp.

    The other observation I’ll make is, is there ANYTHING bad that comes down the pike in this country that doesn’t “impact African Americans disproportionately”? I don’t know about you, but I’ve come down with “compassion fatigue.” I’m tired of being told I should feel sorry for a bunch of people who don’t look like me, or talk like me, or think like me — or do much to help themselves, except commit violent crimes and mount endless shakedown campaigns based on triggering either “White guilt,” or a fear on the part of Whites of being physically harmed by street thugs.

  • Tom

    The tide is turning as more and more whites, globally, realize they are being disenfranchised and discriminated against by their own elected officials, and wonder why. White, anglo people need to stop worrying about blacks, browns, yellows, whatever, and start worrying about themselves. Non white run countries worldwide are, almost without exception, disaster zones of incompetence, injustice, mayhem. The other races know this, that’s why they want to live among us. At some point, somewhere, a tipping point will come (I strongly suspect it will be South Africa), and (white) eyes will be finally, irrevocably, opened. Our compassion may be our Achilles heel, but the single thing whites have demonstrated they aren’t, is stupid. Black people in America need to wake up.

  • Anonymous

    Only 1 out of 5? Is that 1 out of 5 of the 35 million total population or 1 out 5 who work? We know blacks are all commies like their fellow Africans. Look at the pro sports unions owned and run by blacks and their black laywers how they blackmale going on strike to demand 50% what the owners make. What a joke.

    But then again we know the black way is the successful way as history has always proven. Look at the black race in Africa and its long history of the success it has enjoyed for 1000s of years leading the world in technology and advancement.

    Look at the former slave nations like America, S America, Carribeand etc and how the black race has surpassed the white race in intellect and advancement.

    Just one example like Haiti who was the first in 1801 to win its freedom killing all the white French and for the past 200 yrs has had stellar success in everything as a shining example of African rig engineering high achievement.

    If you want to succeed then do everything the African way. This is the way of success and prosperity.

  • george00

    Strong Armed Robbery, that’s how blacks got such a disproportionately large share of government jobs. Hire us or we’ll burn your city to the ground.

  • Reality

    That’s the problem with blacks, they depend on the government for everything, even jobs, yet they contribute almost nothing back in the form of tax money to help pay for it. Everyone else is waking up and is fed up, their easy government sponsored life is nearing an end. Boo hoo.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a lose/lose situation….keeping incompetent blacks on the payroll or layoff and cough up unemployment checks. And a new proviso will ensure these mis-placed AAers receive those checks for life. And during those 8 hours when they should be working they’ll be mulling around YOUR neighborhood.

  • Allan

    I am a White man who worked for many years for HEW/HHS. Most of my Black co-workers were hard-working and competent, and were probable more frustrated than I by the few who were lazy, stupid, and always ready to play the race-card–those who gave all Blacks a bad name.

  • Yorkshireman.

    Wait a minute! We are constantly regaled with facts and figures about about how blacks have entered the job market from HBCUs with qualifications coming out of their ears. These are obviously highly motivated and well placed to launch their own enterprises encompassing groups of like-minded individuals. If this is true, and every black organisation will confirm that this is so, then why should they worry about this public sector jobs crisis which should only affect stupid work-shy uneducated Whites who only have these jobs because of legislation which favours them above the vast majority of well deserving blacks? Dunno? Do you? I don’t!

  • Lenny

    To ALAN Poster Number 22:

    I agree with you 100% a QUALIFIED black should be given equal opportunity for his knowledge and efforts.

    But this is not a right for some dimwit to have a government job.

    Lowering standards to allow any race or group to be able to get in as an unqualified person is sick and wrong and eventually the piper will come to play his flute.

  • Anonymous

    If any of you are ever in one of our countrys beautiful federal buildings east of the Mississippi river and come across a white person mopping [or re-mopping} a marble floor please get an autograph for me.

  • SKIP

    “Has it ever occurred to them to start their own company?”

    The blacks already have their own company, it’s called the U.S. Government!!! Like any business, when profits (called taxes) are down, layoffs ensue. When profits (called taxes still) are up, more blacks can be hired back. They can also work for smaller black owned companies, these are called State, County or City governments to which the same rules of businesses apply, more profits (taxes) more blacks can be hired, less profits (White taxpayers leaving) blacks must be laid off.

  • Strider

    Reality (#20) said: That’s the problem with blacks, they depend on the government for everything, even jobs, yet they contribute almost nothing back in the form of tax money to help pay for it.

    Kinda like tribbles, whose lives are devoted exclusively eating and breeding, all the while producing nothing except more tribbles. And unlike tribbles, blacks are not cute and cuddly. Maybe that’s why normal people react to blacks the same way tribbles react to Klingons.

  • Anonymous

    Right – tell me something I don’t already know.

    I took a look at the source – “In These Times” comes off as a Marxist fantasy screed sheet.

    Anyway, this is a funny and very telling leftist piece of hoopla. It’s written right to the choir of believers so they apparently can’t see through the fog of both ideology and idiocy.

    The sole purpose of the article, it seems, is simply to drum up sympathy and support for more government aid to blacks.

    I find it amazing that after all these years both liberals and brainwashed whites do not stop to think just why all this aid is necessary and exactly who is losing out as all this money is essentially being wasted.

    From the article:

    “The prolonged period of joblessness is raising concerns about a shrinking black middle class, and recent studies have shown that the current spate of budget cuts is hastening the situation.”

    Okay – so who is so concerned? The piece makes it sound like whites everywhere are lamenting this awful circumstance. Then, just because budgets need to be balanced for everyone’s sake – basically, it’s simple economics that every family and small business and government must face routinely – blacks are somehow exempt from having to budget anything.

    From the article:

    “One out of every five working African Americans are employed by the government, according to the labor department.”

    Actually, it’s more like 9 out 10 African American are employed (read: supported) by the government. It’s just that 2 out of 10 have somewhere to go during the day to play on Facebook.

    From the article:

    “In places like Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker ignited an anti-union firestorm and threatened to layoff public workers, African-American unemployment was the highest in the country last year at 25 percent.”

    One has nothing to do with the other. It makes it sound like Governor Walker pushed this legislation through solely to lay off black workers.

    From the article:

    “As governments continue to trim budgets, the mass layoffs of public employees have disproportionately impacted the African-American community.”

    Yes, there’s the newest buzz phrase – “disproportionately impacted” – which, in reality, means nothing. I can’t help it if governments were stupid enough to hire countless do-nothing, affirmative-action blacks only to find out later they have no money left. It’s like saying the layoffs of bad employees and company thieves disproportionately impacted lazy, criminal workers.

    From the article:

    “Algernon Austin, director of the EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy, described the wealth gap this way: ‘In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, black households only had two cents.’

    Another big surprise – consider the excellent savings rate and retirement planning among blacks. Thank goodness we spent $10 billion on civil rights initiatives since 1965 – it might be one cent. And again, what does that have to do with public sector job cuts?

    From the article:

    “The lack of jobs in the community prompted the Congressional Black Caucus last week to criticize the Obama administration for the lack of attention given to the crisis. The Huffington Post reports:

    ‘Can you imagine a situation where any other group of workers, if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work and couldn’t find it?’ asked Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat and chairman of the caucus….’There is no way that this would be allowed to stand.’

    The Congressional Black Caucus – that’s a fair and responsible group. It makes the NAACP look good. Perhaps Rep. Cleaver (government employee) should understand that 34% of white women are NOT out of work. Maybe he should ask himself why. Perhaps they are better workers? Perhaps they are more skilled and have a greater work ethic. But no, his remarks are barely hidden claims of our old friend from the left, racism.

    It’s like me saying, “Can you imagine a situation where if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work because space aliens snatched their bodies and erased their brains and turned them into flesh-eating zombies? There is no way that this would be allowed to stand.”

    Well, that’s hypothetically true – but I haven’t seen any sign of space aliens.

    From the article:

    “Now, with so many people of color depending on the public sector, further reduction of government jobs might compromise decades of economic progress if new jobs aren’t created soon.”

    First, if the current situation is “decades of economic progress” then we’re all in more trouble than we can even imagine. I guess the author conveniently forgot about the two cents net worth analogy from a few paragraphs before.

    And despite governments having no money to hire or even keep worthless black affirmative action vagabonds, the author demands that new jobs be “created.” Typical. Take more taxpayer money and simply make up new “jobs” that aren’t needed so blacks can get a paycheck. That’s why we’re in this mess in the first place.

    How about the folks at “In These Times” create a bunch of new jobs and hire about 20 semi-literate blacks fresh with degrees from one of those fine historically black colleges. Can you spell “Bankruptcy”?

    This type of article epitomizes shallow thinking and backward reasoning. Worse, it is dishonest in creating a problem and then hinting at blame rather than looking at the big picture and the need for personal responsibility – or at least accountability.

  • SKIP

    “I agree with you 100% a QUALIFIED black should be given equal opportunity for his knowledge and efforts”

    I disagree with both of you, letting a black in is like letting one muslim in, one muslim is generally OK, more than one is certainly NOT ok as at the first opportunity they will take sides AGAINST YOU, the White that helped them and will feel no remorse in that decision as remorse, guilt or empathy does not exist in muslim or black consciousness.

  • Anonymous

    The Black middle class was created by affirmative action hiring by the government and government-reliant agencies. Those agencies are now going broke–in fact, it has been projected that over the next two years, State governments are going to have to lay off over 400,000 employees.

    This layoff could have devastating consequences to the Black middle class, unless, of course, the States are afraid of laying off Blacks for fear of facing thousands of civil rights lawsuits, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Look for Whites to be disproportionally laid off in a vain attempt to preserve the illusion that there is a real Black middle class.

  • Big Bill

    Alan, thanks for writing. You are right of course. Southerners even in the midst of the Civil War knew that there were competent blacks. They also knew that blacks, collectively, statistically, were not capable of sustaining an advanced culture even if it was handed to them on a platter. See any African country.

    I remember a time when government jobs went to the most qualified and testing was done to make sure the best were promoted. The military does this routinely with the ASVAB battery of tests

    I can assure you that no matter how hard-working and diligent your blacks are, they would never submit to testing for themselves or for their children, for they know that they are statistically dumber than whites and any loss of AA would hurt them.

    A nation that is forced to dumb itself down and submit to permanent unrelenting guilt and responsibility for another nation is doomed. And your hardworking, diligent blacks are no less committed to that than ghetto blacks are.

    In fact your “nice blacks” are even more committed to AA and race prejudice in hiring than ghetto blacks because “nice blacks” know they and their children will benefit for every dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks black that goes unemployed. NICE blacks get the AA jobs. NICE blacks get the AA promotions. NICE blacks get the full scholarships.

    Put a little differently, Alan, poor blacks call the NAACP the “National Association for the Advancement of Certain People”.