The official August jobs report released this morning shows that the economic depression in communities of color continues unabated. Double digit unemployment for blacks remains stuck at 14.1 percent. The unemployment rate for Latinos edged slightly upward to 10.2 percent.
Unemployment for the general population is unchanged at 8.1 percent and 96,000 jobs were created in August. That’s not even enough to keep up with population growth.
Disturbingly, the number of people actively looking for work continues to slide. It’s at a 30 year low. Over three million people have disappeared from the workforce all together since 2008. If labor force participation was the same as when Obama came to office, the overall unemployment rate would be almost 40 percent higher.
Additional information on male labor force participation is even more sobering. According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s the lowest in almost 60 year low. This news is a disaster for black and Latino men.
High youth unemployment, over 50 percent in some areas, alongside the number of people who’ve given up on work could be important drivers in the outbreak of violence in communities of color this summer.
The jobs report only adds to the curiosity of President Obama’s silence on black and Latino unemployment in last night’s speech, or a full-throated discussion of the jobs crisis overall.