Buffalo Has Nation’s Highest Unemployment Rate for Black Males

Gene Warner, Buffalo News, October 15, 2008

When an economics professor in Milwaukee studied the issue of black male unemployment, he found that his city had the second-highest such jobless rate in the nation last year.

Guess who finished first:

Buffalo.

The Buffalo metro area topped the list among 35 large American cities with a staggering black male jobless rate of 51.4 percent, according to figures cited by Professor Marc V. Levine of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Milwaukee finished a close second, at 51.1 percent, with Detroit third, St. Louis fourth and Chicago fifth.

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Denver had the lowest black male jobless rate, 28.7 percent, followed by Washington with 29.5 percent and San Diego with 31.1.

The data, according to Levine’s study for the university’s Center for Economic Development, are based on figures from the U. S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

In his study, Levine also compared the black and white jobless rates for each of the 35 metro areas. Milwaukee had a relatively low white jobless rate of 18.6 percent, meaning that the gap between its black and white jobless rates was 32.5 percentage points.

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While Levine’s 21-page report deals mostly with the situation in Milwaukee, some of the report’s comments about black unemployment obviously would apply to Buffalo.

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[Editor’s Note: “The Crisis Continues: Black Male Joblessness in Milwaukee 2007,” by Marc V. Levine can be read or downloaded as a PDF document here. Note that the title given on the linked page is “The Crisis of Black Male Joblessness in Milwaukee, 2007.” Readers may find particularly interesting the bar graph on page 10.]

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