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Yes, the rich are getting richer

Freddie Allen | 9/20/2013, 12:24 p.m.
A new report confirms the old saw: The rich are getting richer. According to a report titled, Striking it Richer: ...
Graphic based on the Striking it Richer report The Dallas Examiner graphic

The unemployment rate for Black men was 13.5 percent in August, up from 12.5 percent in July. The jobless rate for White men ticked down to 6.4 percent down from 6.6 percent in July. The unemployment rate for Black women was 10.6 percent in August edging up slightly from 10.5 percent in July. Over the summer, Black women enjoyed the greatest gains in the weak labor market. Economists speculate that it’s likely due to more opportunities for women in retail, hospitality and health care.

The federal government added zero jobs in August, possibly because of steep cuts from forced sequestration. Blacks hold government jobs at higher rates than their White counterparts, which means Blacks feel the sting worse when federal jobs dry up.

“That’s significant because those jobs tend to be very well-paying jobs and tend to provide good benefits,” Wilson said. “When that happens, we see this eating away at the Black middle class, especially.”

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an organization that studies fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals at the state and federal level, the unemployment rate for Blacks was 4 percentage points higher in August than at the start of the recession. The jobless rate for Whites was 2 percentage points higher in August than it was when the recession began.

In a statement on the Labor Department’s August employment report, Chad Stone, chief economist for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, wrote: “If lawmakers want to restore normal employment more quickly, they need to step up to the plate and replace the sequestration budget cuts with a balanced package of tax and spending changes that phase in more slowly so that they don’t weaken the recovery but that also build up more rapidly in later years – putting deficits and debt on a better long-term trajectory.”

Wilson said that because some lawmakers have a general distaste for spending money, any federal stimulus will be hard to swallow on Capitol Hill, but if that doesn’t happen, we’re just going to continue to tread along.