A Jobs-Centered Approach to African-American Community Development

by Algernon Austin

Oct 14, 2011

This report explains that jobs are essential to improving African American communities. It identifies jobs as the backbone of community development and outlines a plan for the federal government to ameliorate joblessness within black communities. The plan has three components: the creation of public sector jobs, job training with job placement programs, and wage subsidies for employers.
  • African Americans still reside mainly in separate and unequal communities. In 2010, in the 100 metropolitan areas with the largest African American populations, 62.5 percent of African Americans would have had to move to achieve full African American-white integration.
  • Since 1960, the African American unemployment rate has been about twice the white rate. For the rate to be equal, an additional 1.3 million African Americans would have needed to be employed in 2010.
  • African Americans are twice as likely as whites to have had 10 or more spells of unemployment over their prime working years.
  • Neither educational advances nor suburbanization by African Americans has translated into reductions in the African American-white unemployment rate ratio.