The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the national unemployment rate was “unchanged” at 8.2 percent. By contrast, the employment situation has changed for African American workers. The black joblessness rate rose to 14.4 percent, up from 13.6 percent in May.
While private payrolls added 80,000 jobs, the Social Security Administration reported 85,000 were added to the disability rolls.
There was a slight dip in black teen unemployment.
The jobs report don't tell the whole story. While private sector added 130,000 jobs in April, state and local governments shed 15,000 employees. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute found that African Americans and women are hit hardest by downsizing in the public sector:
The disproportionate share of women and African Americans working in state and local government has translated into higher rates of job loss for both groups in these sectors. Between 2007 (before the recession) and 2011, state and local governments shed about 765,000 jobs. Women and African Americans comprised about 70 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of those losses. Conversely, Hispanic employment in state and local public-sector jobs increased during this period (although most of that increase likely occurred in the lowest-paid jobs).
Job losses in the state and local public sectors stand in contrast to the jobs recovery in the private sector. From February 2010 (the month the labor market “bottomed out”) to January 2012, the United States experienced a net increase in total nonfarm employment of more than 3.2 million jobs, while state and local government employment fell by 438,000. Over this period, every major sector of the economy experienced net growth in jobs except the public sector.
I LOL when I read that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's “New Year's resolution is to learn to code.”
The same day Bloomberg tweeted his plan, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest jobs report. And it was no laughing matter. While the overall unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly three years, black joblessness rose from 15.5 percent to 15.8 percent.
Private employers added 1.9 million jobs in 2011. Black workers are disproportionately employed in the public sector which lost 244,000 jobs last year. The writing is on the wall: A secure “good government job” is going the way of six-day mail delivery.
The nonprofit Code for America plans to open a first-of-its-kind “civic accelerator” in San Francisco, a program designed to house, mentor and fund startups focused on using technology to improve government efficiency.
The details are still being worked out, but Code for America will work with the city to identify departments in particular need of new online tools. Code for America will sponsor so-called hackathons this spring and summer to find and fund entrepreneurs building the most promising solutions.
As cities and states rethink how they deliver public services, workers will feel the impact. So if Bloomberg has resolved to learn code in 2012, why not you?
Sarah Palin famously said she could see Russia from her window. I can’t see Occupy Philadelphia from my apartment, but I sometimes hear the protesters.
I have not blogged much the last few days because I’ve been preoccupied with a project. I’ll get back to my regular schedule next week.
With folks in an uproar from the Big Apple to the Big Easy, a Facebook friend left this comment on my wall:
Buckle up! The pot is starting to stir. 2012 is starting to look like it’s going to be a real doozy of a year with a spectacular conclusion, considering the economy and the election, and people in the streets, and the Mayan Calendar thing and all.
Things went from bad to worse when Obama handed Republicans a gaffe gift that will keep on giving in attack ads. In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Obama said the American people are “not better off”:
Well, I don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through. I think that what we’ve seen is that we’ve been able to make steady progress to stabilize the economy, but the unemployment rate is still way too high. And that’s why it’s so critical for us to make sure that we are taking every action we can take to put people back to work.
Sure, some of Obama’s ideas have had bipartisan support in the past. But the only thing voters will hear a year from now is Obama saying Americans are “not better off.”
In his weekly address, President Obama called on Congress “to get its act together” and pass the American Jobs Act:
It’s been almost three weeks since I sent the American Jobs Act to Congress – three weeks since I sent them a bill that would put people back to work and put money in people’s pockets. And now I want it back. It is time for Congress to get its act together and pass this jobs bill so I can sign it into law.
A study by the Transportation Equity Network suggests that getting “construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges” will not help African Americans.
The report, “The Road to Good Jobs: Making Training Work,” will not be released until Tuesday, but the media advisory says all you need to know:
Most states are failing to boost job access to those hit hardest by the recession—minorities and women—in the multi-billion-dollar federal highway construction field.
The Road to Good Jobs: Making Training Work presents the first-ever compilation of data from all 50 states on their use of on-the-job-training and apprenticeship programs to boost job access for minorities and women in the federal highway construction field from 2008-10.
The study finds that most states are doing a poor job of using proven training programs to boost highway construction job access for minorities and women, though unemployment rates for minorities are nearly double those of whites, and female unemployment is ticking up while male unemployment is dropping.