Despite Gains, Job Drought Continues for Workers of Color

While official stats say that unemployment is at a two-year low, that number doesn't take into account people who've simply given up.

By Shani O. Hilton Mar 04, 2011

The headlines around the February jobs report tout the addition of 192,000 jobs to the economy, and the drop in the unemployment rate from 9.0 percent to 8.9 percent–which is the lowest it’s been since 2009.

Yet, as the report points out, despite the new jobs, people of color in the labor force remain in the same dire straits:

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.7 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (23.9 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (15.3 percent), and Hispanics (11.6 percent) showed little or no change in February.

Moreover, true joblessness–including people who dropped out of the labor force because they couldn’t find a job–is still incredibly high, at almost 15 percent. So while it’s all well and good to announce that unemployment is at a two-year low, that number doesn’t take into account how many people have simply given up.

The New York Times has a tempered report, explaining that even if we were to begin adding 200,000 new jobs each month it would be three years before the U.S. labor market would return to pre-recession levels.

It seems the jobless recovery is in full effect.