U.S. jobs picture looking bleaker for Black youth
Teens searching for work can’t find it
Nearly half of all Black youth in the nation who are looking for work are not getting hired, according to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor.
In October, 48 percent of African Americans, ages 16 to 19, who were actively looking for work could not find jobs. That’s more than double the rate of White youths looking for jobs.
“It’s eye-popping,” said Amar Mann, supervising economist in the San Francisco office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. “These are the kids (who) want to work but can’t find work.”
Their parents haven’t faired much better. The national unemployment rate for civilian, non-institutionalized African Americans has remained above 15 percent for the past year, and has hovered above 16 percent for six out of the past 12 months, according to data from the department.
For the month of November, the unemployment rate for Blacks nationally was 16 percent, 13.2 percent for Hispanics, 8.9 percent for Whites and 7.6 percent for Asians. In California, the unemployment rate for African Americans is 18.6, percent and a little more than 35 percent of Black youth in the state are job hunting and can’t find jobs, according to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
A successful jobs program run last summer by Hire L.A., a citywide initiative, found jobs for more than 8,500 youth, a third of which were African Americans. That program was funded with federal stimulus money, but funding for next year is uncertain.
Hire L.A. continues to offer a job-readiness training program for youth. More than 37,000 youth throughout Los Angeles have taken advantage of this service, which prepares youth for their first job interview with resume development, drug testing and mock interviews with volunteer executives.
Also in the November unemployment report just released by the federal government, job gains continued in temporary help services and health care, while employment fell in retail and stayed relatively flat in manufacturing and other major industries. More than 15 million Americans, including 2.2 million Californians are out of work.
Statewide, jobs were added in professional and business services, educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, mining and logging, and other service-related industries. Construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, utilities, information, finance and government posted job losses, according to the EDD.
Rodney D. Green, Ph.D., economist and director of the Center for Urban Progress at Howard University in Washington, D.C., suggests that African Americans in Los Angeles and other cities may have to look beyond downtown for jobs. “On average, job growth is occurring in suburban and exurban areas moreso than in city neighborhoods. It will be important to not have to rely on public transportation to increase job prospects.”
“Certainly that has been the case for decades because that is how the country has grown in the last 30 years,” said David Eder, staff member of the Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board. “While there are always businesses wanting to do business here, what you’ll find will be small businesses with a few jobs here and there.”
The exceptions, Eder and Green agree, are major employers like hospitals and universities. “A relatively good place to look for jobs are in hospitals and transit systems,” Green said. “These jobs cannot be readily outsourced, and most of the jobs in these areas do not require advanced post-collegiate training.”
International trade, the entertainment industry and hospitality are also expected to be major employers as the local economy rebounds in the next few years, according to an upcoming report from the city and the Los Angeles Economic Development Commission. “We’ve hit the bottom and going up may be very slow,” Eder said of the economy. “It won’t be bad forever.”
As for Black youth who are job hunting, they too may have to look outside of their neighborhoods in order to find work. Eder said he encourages parents to determine within their limits of safety what areas their teens can work, particularly those who take the bus. “You have to go where you can go to get a job,” he said.
The Watts-Willowbrook Conservatory (WWC) and youth orchestra begins its fourth year, serving youngsters from the South Los Angeles/Watts/Compton area.
Beginners, intermediate and advanced students are welcome to participate in the program, and youth must be ages 7-18 to participate in the 10-week session. The cost is a $10 registration fee, and instruments are available for loan.
April 18 is the final day to sign up for the new session.
Enrollment applications available at The Watts-Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority will hold its 61st western regional conference Friday, April 19, to Sunday, April 21, under the theme “Uniting Communities for Growth, Partnerships and Service.” The event will be held at the Torrance Marriott South Bay Hotel at 3635 Fashion Way in Torrance.
The community is invited to attend the free public meeting on Friday, April 19, 7:30 - 9 p.m., which will highlight the sorority’s activities around the world.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Los Angeles County increased to 10.4 percent in January, up from a revised 10.3 percent in December, the state Employment Development Department announced today.
The 10.4 percent unemployment rate was below the 11.6 percent rate in January 2012, according to the EDD.
In Orange County, where seasonally adjusted numbers were not available, the unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in January.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Black youth report considerable pressure to have sex, according to a new survey of 1,500 Black youth ages 13-21 released by ESSENCE Magazine and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Of those who have had sex, 47% of those 13-21 (including 21% of those 13-15) say they have been pressured to go further sexually than they wanted to. The groundbreaking results are featured in the October issue of ESSENCE magazine.
Patients seeking bone marrow donations to fight diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma will typically find a match within their family only 25 percent of the time; the other 75 percent of matches are made with compatible strangers.
That’s where Be the Match comes in. This national registry of 9 million donors is one way those seeking marrow can find it.