Young Black Men Hit Hardest By Recession
Demographic's unemployment reaches Depression-era levels
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2009 6:21 AM CST
In this July 2, 2009 file photo, Hector Riser uses a computer to do a job search at the New York State Department of Labor in the Brooklyn borough of New York.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
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(Newser) – The recession has sent the unemployment rate among young black men soaring to rates not seen since the Great Depression. The jobless rate among black males aged 16 to 24 hit 34.5% last month, more than triple the rate for the general population. The demographic has been especially hit by massive job losses in the manufacturing, construction, and retail sectors, the Washington Post reports.

The recession has dealt a disproportionately heavy blow to the employment chances of young workers of all ages, but statistics show that race plays a bigger role in unemployment than age, income, or even education levels. Experts warn that if the government doesn't deal with the problem of unemployment and underemployment in the black community, it should expect long-lasting consequences as jobless teens and 20-somethings—even college grads—struggle for years to catch up financially.