Have you ever heard those words? It never feels good to hear it, especially, if the help wanted sign is still in the window. That’s exactly what’s happening now. Although the sign in the window has predominately been replaced with job boards and social media recruiting sites, blacks are still hearing that message. Maybe not verbatim but the inference is clear.
Last week, the Labor Department reported good news from the employment front. We were told that the unemployment rate had dropped to 8.6%. That is down from 9.2% and the lowest it’s been in 2.5 years. No doubt the number was affected by the aggressive seasonal hiring of places like Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Macy’s and Wal-Mart. I was happy to hear the news and on a personal note I know of 2 people that recently got hired in the retail industry. They both are hoping to turn the seasonal opportunity into long-term full time employment.
I reposted the unemployment numbers on my Facebook page, where one of my friends and former co-workers, made a comment about how the number is manipulated to make us all feel good. He pointed out (correctly I might add) that the number does not reflect the folks that have given up on finding gainful employment. He went on to ask about workers who are under employed or disengaged. Well, he planted a seed.
I looked into this and it didn’t take long. Once you examine the new numbers, really the more things change the more they stay the same.
Although the overall rate went down, it actually went up for blacks, yep from 15.1% to 15.5%. Here’s an article on it. So we still have work to do as far as inclusion, diversity and cultural acceptance. Now to address my friends concerns about disengagement, I have attached an infographic (here) that was shared on Twitter. Looks like most people are totally detached.
Lastly, I came across this article from Jim Tait, titled “Shadow Stat: Unemployment is Much Worse Than We Believe” it goes into the true jobless rate in America, something like 23% (read more here).
Reminds me of the old Stevie Wonder classic “Living for the City”
Her brother’s smart he’s got more sense than many
His patience’s long but soon he won’t have any
To find a job is like a haystack needle
Cause where he lives they don’t use colored people
Living just enough, just enough for the city…