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July 24th, 2008
09:41 AM ET

Recessions and black America

Program Note: In the next installment of CNN's Black in America series, Soledad O'Brien examines the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men, women and families, 40 years after the death of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Watch encore presentation Saturday & Sunday, 8 p.m. ET


We devote several days on the blog to smart insight and commentary related to the special.

_____________________________________________________

CNN's Stephanie Elam examines the impact of a recession on blacks in the U.S.
CNN's Stephanie Elam examines the impact of a recession on blacks in the U.S.
Stephanie Elam
CNN Business News Correspondent

When I set out to do a story on the effect recessions have on black Americans, I was prepared for some dire statistics. I wasn’t pleasantly surprised. Here’s my biggest takeaway: as the unemployment rate increases for the population overall in a recession, the increase among blacks is roughly double. And when a recession hits, blacks take longer to regain employment after the economy recovers.

As if that isn’t bad enough, it was what I learned about younger black Americans that really left an impact. According to John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the unemployment rate for black teens is about twice that of white teens. In the recession that lasted from 1980 into 1982 – the black teen unemployment rate skyrocketed to 50 percent.

If young people can’t get a job, their future prospects are greatly limited. As Schmitt put it, people in this situation can languish in unemployment or low-wage jobs that don’t help build a foundation for future wage increases or better opportunities. The teenage unemployment rate for blacks is a huge indicator of the future.

No doubt there are several reasons for the disparity. For one thing, while the number of college-educated blacks continues to grow there is still a larger group that has a high school diploma or less. That’s the demographic that tends to suffer the most during a recession. Another problem is a decline in manufacturing jobs. In fact, most of the black American middle-class built its wealth through manufacturing and union jobs held in the fifties, sixties and seventies. At the end of the seventies, a quarter of black workers had manufacturing jobs. Today, that statistic is down to 10 percent.

A lot of the headlines at CNN are about Issue #1 – the economy – but it seems for many blacks in America the headline is even more specific: Jobs Wanted.


Filed under: Black in America • Economy • Stephanie Elam
soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. Terry

    The thing that is wrong is that a majority of people expect the Government to do everything for them. God forbid welfare stopped, then what would everyone do?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:46 pm |
  2. aztekman

    Is there a reason why society needs to give everyone a crutch? You are poor, you are black, you are female...
    Makes one wonder how Korean, Mexican, Japanese, Jamaican, Russians... Do not see to have the same issues as the blacks.

    Is it because the society/media is giving blacks a crutch?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:46 pm |
  3. Sharon

    The recession hits african americans more because they have always been at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to income. Now the recession is hitting every ethnic group and there will no longer be a middle class; but the have and have nots.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  4. Pete

    Cindy,
    You missed the point of the story completely.

    Josh,
    Maybe you should tell your kids that you did not provide enough value to your company for them to choose you over a black worker.

    That is just another case of looking for blame where none exists.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  5. Nash

    I think CNN is now in competition with BET for Black America. Economy hurts everybody not only black, white or browns. I don't see CNN have any articles on Lationos to find how much they got hurt in this economy. Lationo work hard in the jobs that most americans including yes blacks does not want to do (cleaning hotels etc.).

    We need to stop this madness to woo the blacks since Obama is a nominee for US president. This country gets too much emotional and polarized for everything without looking at the facts.

    I still remember CNN's role to drum up support for Iraq war and look where it took us and how much we are paying for the stupidity.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  6. Tom

    Recession doesn't target color. LAWS make certain that a certain number of blacks will receive jobs even if a more qualified white candidate is available (see affirmative[discriminatory] action). Perhaps less blacks are applying for jobs.

    The sheer number of protective laws and aid programs available to a black person as compared to another race is staggering.

    Remember that this article is based on statistics gathered by it's author. If you have ever taken a statistics course then you know you can select statistice and warp the numbers to say virtually anything you want, even if the exact OPPOSITE of what you are saying is what is supported by facts. To quote Walt Whitman "There are three kinds of lies. A little white lie. A damned lie. And statistics.".

    So when are we getting a "White in America" special? Discrimination.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  7. Andy

    Are blacks ever racist? No, thats not possible is it.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  8. Joe

    This whole article is laughable. EVERYONE is being affected by the economy. Race has nothing to do with it. I am so sick and tired of hearing how whites have it better. Really? Is that why many extremely qualified white people will losr their job out to a black person just so the company can pad their statistics?

    EDUCATION is key! If black america would quit having children when they are 14 and 15 then maybe we would have more responsible adults in this world. Black men need to quit abadoning their children they have. Newsflash...society can not and will not tolerate this any longer. We wonder why our schools are in such bad shape. Part of the reason is that the PARENTS do not care. I have numerious friends who teach in public schools and the stories they tell us are absolutely aweful!!!!!!!

    I am voting for Obama and hope he wins...this way black american can no longer blame the rest of the world for their own problems! CNN should be ashamed for digging into this topic and dividing the country even further.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  9. Susan

    CNN, enough already ! I am sick and tired of how the mainstream media foments anger by portraying one group of victims as out-victimizing another.

    When are you going to start some serious reporting on real issues, like how our Federal Government is robbing every single white, black, yellow, and purple male and female U.S. taxpayer blind with its money-printing and bailouts ?

    EVERYBODY is going to be hurting in the next few years and to hand out excuses to a group of people to sit around and feel sorry for themselves will just fracture us.

    What we need is grassroots UNITY and to do something like OUST the people we currently have in government that brought this nation to insolvency.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  10. Angela

    Get over it and do something about it. Stop blaming all of your misfortunes on being black. I am broke too, but I know that it has nothing to do with my race.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  11. FC

    I too would like to understand better (including a better sample base for the conclusion reached) why blacks are impacted differently than Latino/Asian. anyone, regardless of color, is being impacted. those in the lower wage earning scales or not earning wages at all (Welfare/ social security, etc.) are certainly more greatly impacted than those in the upper wage scales. While blacks may make up a majority of the lower wage scales, to run a headline like that was run is clearly pandering to blacks and provoking the race issue for the sake of gathering headlines. is this what is in store for the next four years, if we elect a black to the white house? seems like an editor should be above this – but then again, most editors seem to think their entire realm of responsiblity is categorized as "editorial" and none in the "report the facts objectively" category.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  12. FLL

    Patrick, get a life...everyone has it tough, especially now.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  13. ML

    Cindy,
    While I agree with you that a recession hurts everyone. However, I believe it affects the black community more so than any other groups. For starters, we are doing the ones with the crappy and low paying jobs and have to make due with the same amount of money or less. when the price of everything from milk to gas have risen. We're are not looking for your pity, it's just a fact and have always been so. What planet have you been living on?

    ML, NY

    July 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm |
  14. Rob Hughes

    Hello,

    This is painting this issue with a VERY selective and broad based brush. The fact of the matter is that education ultimately leads to better jobs. It is well understood that with greater education your skill sets and ultimately your marketability improves. When a recession hits the first to go are the low wage labor. That is not racism that is corporate survival.

    A broader question that should be asked is why in this day in age are there so many people that missed the bus on education. Does society or the culture preclude or rather prevent individuals from success?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm |
  15. Matt

    Maybe if the high school graduation rate of young black men was better than 48%, they wouldn't have so much of a hard time finding a job. But hey, it's a lot easier to have multiple childen, live off the government, and sell drugs than it is to actually educate yourself and work for a living. I guess that's why I work in higher education but still shop at Goodwill while my neighbors are unemployed but are wearing a different pair of $160 Nike shoes every day.

    If you want a solution to the problem, look at the cultural values. What's lacking is sheer work ethic and doing the right thing. I don't care about blacks being slaves 200 years ago because I didn't own one and I don't know anyone alive today who knows somebody who was a slave. We all have the same opportunity in America today – minorities often moreso than whites – it's all just a matter of WHAT WE CHOOSE TO DO WITH IT.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  16. herman

    I live in a very diverse area. Lots of blacks. How come I never meet the well educated, polite, "we just need a chance" type of black folks that this series pretends all blacks are???
    98% of the blacks I meet, have terrible attitudes, think that I owe them a living, and hate me for the color of my skin. If you don't bend over backwards to kiss their tail, your somehow a racist. Not only that, but if your a minority white, who goes to black majority school, your going to be a target for violence. Just anyone whose ever been in that situation.

    I don't owe them anything. Every nationality comes to this country and makes their own way without whining that the whole world is keeping them down.
    The Asians and Hispanics are getting their share of the American dream without a handout from whitey. How comes the blacks can't do it?

    If black folks want to really get ahead,
    Pull your pants up, learn to speak english, start respecting each other, the law, and the neighborhoods you live in.

    Quit asking for handouts, quit squirting out babies you don't want and can't afford. Learn how to put in a days work for a days pay, and get your share of the American dream without anyone's help.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  17. Vinny

    That's right how could I forget. The media HAS to portray blacks as victims. The recession hurts everyone and all demographics. Like Calvin said in his post, Blacks need to wake up and educate themselves and improve their station in life without waiting for someone to hand them something for nothing. Black men need to MAN UP and be fathers and positive role models or don't have kids. Black women need to keep their legs closed until they found someone who will be a MAN and father to his child. Everyone is so tired of hearing about black victims. Good for people like Calvin and Patrick who didn't rest on the color of their skin but went out and worked hard and educated themselves. Now if only the media would knock off this victimization we might be able to move forward with some kind of race relations.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  18. Jim B.

    TC...you wrote:
    "I am curious to know if some Americans wonder what would be the long lasting adverse affects on White Amercans if they were enslaved for over 200 years??"
    and...
    "Remember…You don’t ask the rapist if the rape is over with…you ask the one who was raped."

    Were you a slave or raped? If not, how can you comment on those that were feelings?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  19. aztekman

    @Patrick Felix: You seem to be perpetuating the hype that is not there. In the past five years most of the women and blacks I work with make as much or more than the white males (proportionately).
    When I see any kind of report that looks at people from an equal point of view (education/experience/work ethic) and can show me that the white male make a higher rate, then I will buy into the hype. Until then I will look at individuals like Pelosi, Clinton, Rice, Obama, Powell... and see how they are living the American Dream like you and I can live the American Dream.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  20. peter

    wow lot of great things being said here but from my life experinece as a while american male, i have been the victim in MANY reverse prejudice situations in my life. i also am sick of hear that it's so hard being black.

    it's hard for me too, it's hard for everyone. i do think that some people that are black use it as a scapegoat, and are raised to hate white people. i do believe there's much more racism towards blacks but i also think that there's a decent population of blacks that yes have children when they can't afford to, have the government foot all the bills and continue to hate everyone else. go to school, take responsibility for your actions. how will things ever change if EVERYONE doesn't do THEIR part?

    i pay my taxes, and i don't believe in supporting people who just don't care. obiouviously with fewer resources, it may be higher to climb the socioeconomic status ladder but it's done all the time by people who try.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  21. Matt W

    Last time I checked the GDP stats, we were not in a recession (even though the media wishes we were).

    That raise in the minimum wage that goes into effect today should really help blacks out since it encourages employers to expand their payrolls (sarcasm)…

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  22. NM of Los Angeles

    I've read all of the blogs and a majority of them lack compassion. Through all of your political talk, there's no mention of God anywhere. Whose economy do you rely on? Man's or God's? I belong to the Lord and with that comes understanding and discerning of the times and compassion for those who are caught in the storm. Yes Cindy all are feeling it, yes countless other brothers and sisters blacks feel it first and the deepest. But if you put God first, He will sustain you through the storm. He may not deliver us from it, but endow us with His spirit and power to endure. Now we've asked him to leave our schools, our home, our lives and look at what has happened. He has brought man's wisdom TO NOTHING. No analyst predicted this would happen, prevented it from happening and they don't know quite what to do to provide a quick 'fix'. The answer is Jesus Christ. We need to love one another and help each other instead of name calling and finger pointing. Remember this, the issues that proceed from out of your mouth tells the condition of your heart and if you lack compassion for your fellow brother/sister regardless of color, the Lord will not hear our cry and heal our land and bring back abundance. Turn to prayer and positive thinking and conversations and watch this economy turn around. After all, it's pure speculation that drives Wall Street!

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  23. Tom

    Whenever the economy is doing well, we see aticles that read "Blacks are not reaping benefits of strong economic growth." Now that the economic condition is gloomy, we get reports that read "Blacks have it much worse in bad economy."

    Quit the racial pandering, CNN. Enough is enough.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:39 pm |
  24. John

    This entire discussion or blog is absurd. The real focus needs to be placed on the Corporate Tax rate, and bringing our jobs back to this country...

    50% of our country is now owned by foreign interest. Was that a part of the vision our founding fathers had for the country?

    Black, White . . . blah, blah, blah . . . we all bleed the same color last time I checked.

    I cannot wait to educate my 3 year mixed son on how ignorant our culture is.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  25. Jane

    In our MBA school, the black are always the first group to find interns or full-time jobs although their grades are usually below the average, largely because of Affirmative Action.
    I think the government's too much intervene in the market, Affirmative Action and welfare system, hurt the black more than help. Such intervene makes them unable to weather any difficulty in their life.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  26. Cleveland

    Cindy,

    You should consider the context in which the story was presented, rather than, again – coming to a conclusion that the entire basis of this story is a "Woe is Me Thing".

    This is a situation that has been presented "With" supporting statistics.

    So before you start antagonising accusations, you should consider the context in which the foundation of this story is about.

    Perhaps a little education could help.

    Cleveland
    Pasadena, Ca.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  27. aztekman

    Why is it about Blacks? I and a number of my friends, who are black, are doing just fine.
    Why is it not about lower income individuals? Is there a reason that the media keeps the racial issue in the air, besides money? Anytime a black person gets arrested or interviewed by police it is immediately assumed it is about color (three black girls questioned about shoplifting). Maybe it was about them doing something suspicious? Maybe it was about them being young (looking like high schoolers).
    Does it not hurt the black community more when they are on the front-page all of the time, which gives some more reason to hate?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  28. Richard Robinson

    Recession hurt POOR people more than better off people. It does not matter the color. I can't believe you need to examine this issue

    July 24, 2008 at 12:34 pm |
  29. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I can see how statistically blacks have a higher unemployment rate since many might be working in lower less skilled/educated jobs and could be easily be replaced by someone else for even cheaper pay. I say that because Google tries so hard (look up the incentives they offer) to retain their employees – many who come from elite colleges who have much to offer the company and are irreplaceable – otherwise they wouldn't bother with the incentives they give their employees. The point is the better educated and skilled you are the better chances you have with surviving a recession.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:32 pm |
  30. Derrick

    I agree with Calvin's comments. Education is free, so go get it. All this talk about race and discremination in the work force, but all I hear is black and white. I put an add in the paper for cabinet assembler when I first opened my small business. I received several calls (not a single african american) and hired 4 guys. Two of the hires were white and the other two were hispanic. The two white guys didnt show up half the time, using multiple excuses, and eventually one stop showing up all together. I did my best to offer equal opportunity to work, and in the end I have to use the guys who show up and want to work.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:30 pm |
  31. Patrick Felix

    Cindy –
    I agree with you that the recession hurts everyone; however, let us focus on the important details of the article.

    "as the unemployment rate increases for the population overall in a recession, the increase among blacks is roughly double. And when a recession hits, blacks take longer to regain employment after the economy recovers."

    The article is not trying to take away the pain of any other race, but it is clearly pointing out that in this current society blacks are getting hit harder because of the lower wages they naturally get, the lack of education they receive, and the jobs they are not given due to their skin color (females are affected in similar manners due to their gender). I am sure that you know some white people who are getting hit harder than some black people, I understand; but the fact remains that the majority of blacks are getting hit harder than the majority of whites due to circumstances before the recession. Let us not be foolish by assuming otherwise! I am 26, black, and well-educated...let me make it clear - I am the exception! I have never used my color as an excuse even when it was clearly a factor, but I cannot tell anyone else that it is not a valid excuse. The numbers in my neighborhood are crystal clear: 3 out of 20 kids made it to college...the rest didn't finish high school!

    The picture is bigger than this article and the recession – look around...there is something really wrong in this country!

    Patrick
    Brockton, MA

    July 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm |
  32. Ulysses Tendell

    I grew up in the inner city of New Orleans and used to own a Red 944
    Porsche Turbo. The Popo would treat me like a cheap watch, meaning they would stop me every second. In fact , more often than not they would ask me who's car I was driving. Frankly, I would
    find great pleasure in showing the officers my registration,insurance and license. On another occasion one of my coworkers asked me.
    How could I afford to drive a Porsce? I said, easy when my note comes in the mail I pay it. I could write a Novel on the number of times that I have experienced racism.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  33. TC

    No matter how much Americans HATE to hear how much harder it is for Blacks in America, it does not change the facts or statistics...facts and stats do not care about how tired you are of hearing about it , it doesn't care about how much you try to keep it under wraps.

    I hear White Americans saying time and time again that "slavery and racism is over...let's put it behind us...let's get over it already".

    I am curious to know if some Americans wonder what would be the long lasting adverse affects on White Amercans if they were enslaved for over 200 years?? And need I remind those of you that think racism is a thing of folk stories of the long gone past...there are still some people around who have witnessed thier relatives being lenched and have themselves suffered and still suffer racism.

    Remember...You don't ask the rapist if the rape is over with...you ask the one who was raped.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  34. Teresa, OH

    As for blacks losing alot of jobs: the car manufacturers have a proportionately higher rate of "minorities", which means a higher % are going to get hurt in the crunch of unemployment. But it also meant they were getting some pretty good wages. And we all know what's happened in the car biz.

    Blacks arent getting laid off any more than other workers. However, the line of work might be focus.

    RE: " And when a recession hits, blacks take longer to regain employment after the economy recovers."..... Had it occured to you that maybe MAYBE certain people dont WANT to get off their unemployment benefits and arent trying to SPRING back into the workforce? As for the black teens being unemployed, perhaps some of them have SIDE jobs that one wouldnt report as employment?

    Cindy ^5: yer right on as usual.

    Calvin from Lousiana: ^5 to you as well. I personally have seen with my public school education and now my sons that black students are being done a terrible disservice in school by getting a free ride through classes instead of schools truly being interested in the kids learning. PARENTS: if you dont care about your childrens education: the rest of the world doesnt either.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm |
  35. Gregg

    Cindy,

    You are correct. Everyone's hurts in a recession – but that's not the point of this article. The concern is that our global competitive position is at risk.

    The issue is the level of pain and the aggregated circumstances afflicted on any group – and why. Look at the disparities in the unemployment rates. Look at the education disparities. Why? These are not recession differences, these are societal concerns.

    Wait! No, excuses. Just perspectives.

    You mentioned that everyone has it bad – now. Maybe your bad is everyone else's normal (no work for 6 months) – and now their bad is worse(no work for 12 months).

    Gregg
    Duke MBA, Class of 199_
    Unemployed

    July 24, 2008 at 11:59 am |
  36. Josh

    Funny thing. I was laid off a few months ago – but my company retained the Black employees for fear of being sued for discrimination.

    It is very easy to look at the statistics – and they probably prove that Black people have a harder time, but that does not give me any solice.

    Many companies reasoning is that it is hard to find and recrute qualified Black employees, if they lay them off during a recession they will not be able to hire the same number back – so white, under 40 men go first. You might want to check on that statistic too.

    When I hear advocate for 'afirmative action' expound on the good it has done – I wonder if they know it has taken food out of the mouths of my children.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:57 am |
  37. Jennifer

    Perhaps the question is, WHY they were laid off (recession and cut backs yes, but were they at the bottom of the totem poll for being poor workers?), and did they whole-heartedly seek a replacement job?

    July 24, 2008 at 11:53 am |
  38. Chantel

    A recession does affect a lot of people, businesses, and families. Let's face it.... it can have a dominoe effect on other areas of our life. So, one should try to walk in a person of color's "shoes" and seek to understand first. Even during a healthy economy none of us our color blind. We have come a long way in race relations in this country, however there are still some lingering discrepancies. Therefore, it is not a surprise that a recession can hit minorities significantly. Why does it hit them hard. Well, they do not have a substantial economic, political, or social position in this country to have any real power to withstand the negative downturns of our economy. Job interviewers do look at race, even if they are not supposed to...

    July 24, 2008 at 11:52 am |
  39. Calvin from Louisiana

    I am a young African-American college student writing this comment from the library on campus. How many other black students,in the last one hour, have entered or left the library in the middle of summer to study besides myself.....TWO!!!

    That's part of the problem in the community. We have to raise our standards and have black students complete high school so they can go on to college and compete for better paying jobs. Education is not the only answer, but one of the major solutions to raising the standard of living in the black community.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  40. NateSC

    This is based on past statistics... When you look back it has been harder for african americans to get back to work after being laid off. Now of course there are some who might get lucky and others who do not. First of all alot of African Americans do not whine woe is me, the government did this and that they work, eat and sleep like you they might have more issues to deal with but its not diffrent if you keep grouping poeple you show how you truly are.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  41. Paula

    it ticks me off that blacks always have a chip on their shoulder. If this article was called " Recession and White America" the blacks would consider it racist. Martin Luther King wanted us to all be equal. Welcome to the Equal World !!!!!! White, black, asian, whatever, none of us can get jobs right now. Its not just a black thing. Get over it !!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  42. Laurie

    I agree with Cindy from Ga, everyone is hurting right now due to the economy. But I think there is a larger percentage of black people who fall in the middle to lower class pay categories. This is why their percentages are higher. Poorer people do not have the same advantages and resources. This is true across the board, no matter what race, religion, or color you are.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  43. Nadine Buchko (Pittsburgh, PA)

    Recession DOES hurt EVERYONE!!!

    I am SO sick of these black man fathering children that they are not able to support and thinking nothing of it!! Also, black women becoming pregnant by these black men and even having More children. The children then suffer becoming a burden on society. Maybe they would not have it so hard if they did not have all of these children.

    I believe one the stories last night (I did NOT watch the whole show) was about a women at a young age getting pregnant – she did not use contraception) and then getting pregnant again THREE more times.

    Something here has to change!!! Society cannot support them (although they expect it) take a little responsibility (Obama is right) and then maybe recession would not be so hard.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:39 am |
  44. Geoff

    Cindy from GA....calm down. Of course, many Americans are going through tough times. Since you mentioned other racial groups, I'm interested to know what are the effects of a recession of those racial groups. In the recession of 1980-82, were 50% of white, yellow, or brown teens unemployed? Perhaps, CNN is doing the responsible thing by shedding light on several issues that disproportionately affect a large population of Americans. Two segments devoted to addressing problems within the Black community out of CNN's 24/7, 365 day news coverage, doesn't consitute a "whoa is me thing." I applaud this blog and CNN's "Black in America" segment and hope that some good will come out of this for all Americans.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:35 am |
  45. Loretta from California

    1% of black males have successfully obtained a place in cooperate America and 60% of white Americans believe that this is a great improvement since the 1960's.

    Did I hear you correctly, Soledad? I caught a little of your report a few minutes ago while watching CNN. I'm watching now, can you repeat your poll numbers please?

    Thank you for your wonderful reporting.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:34 am |
  46. Joseph

    I kind of agree, I know plenty of friends in the northeast with college degrees that are laid off and in search. This is truly a tough time for all americans and not just one group.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:33 am |
  47. Jennifer

    Brava, Cindy! I have been looking for a way to try & cope by getting a second job....and have been looking since NOVEMBER! Still don't have it, have given up my cable, a balanced diet, and my cat....what's next?

    BTW: I'm SWF, 42 years old..... You don't have to be "of color" to have issues with this economy.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  48. Ba

    Now that we have Cindy's extensive study by talking to her friends/families, we can safely ignore all the statistics and research done by the professionals.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:27 am |
  49. Trey

    What they are saying is blacks as a whole are not getting the jobs after being laid off. Just because you know a few of your freinds who were laid off does not show the overall disparity between the two compared groups.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:27 am |
  50. Cindy

    UMMM...HELLO!! The recession hurts everyone...black, white, yellow, brown, whatever! Recession sees no color! To say that it hurts one class more than another is absurd! Whites are being hit just as bad as blacks or anyone else.

    And as far as getting a job goes it's just as hard for anyone else also. I know several people who were laid off because of this bad economy and they haven't found work yet even though they've tried everything.

    So stop doing the woe is me thing here! Everyone has it bad now!!

    Cindy...Ga.

    July 24, 2008 at 10:04 am |
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