Although the nation has shown signs of a resurrection from the economic downfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Black men in America are stuck in a permanent recession stifled by the impact of systemic racism, a recent report shows.
According to the Center for American Progress report published in late March, Black men have continued to see “persistent unemployment gaps” even after a reported nationwide economic turn.
The contagious disease crippled the economy as businesses were shuttered to contain its spread in the early months of the outbreak. The shutdowns had the biggest impact on the paychecks of low-wage workers, many of them minorities, data show. The low-paying jobs provide little access to benefits or opportunities to save.
Even as the public health experts learned how to contain the disease and the federal government pumped historic amounts of aid into state coffers for recovery, Black men were still left out of the workforce, the CAP report shows.
“An economy where Black men consistently experience significantly higher unemployment rates than white men cannot be considered as having reached full employment,” the report says.
From the time the U.S. Department of Labor started tracking labor numbers, Black men have experienced unemployment twice as much as white men, the report shows. The employment and economic gap between Black men and white men has never closed, CAP researchers contend. In 2020, Black men earned just 75 cents for every $1 earned by white men, they said.
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