(Washington Post) In the quarter-century that Armentha Cruise has run her Silver Spring staffing firm, the nation has made strides toward racial equality. Voters have twice elected a black president, African Americans shine among Hollywood’s brightest stars, and the number of blacks who graduate from college has tripled.
But this stubborn fact remains: The African American jobless rate is about twice that of whites, a disparity that has barely budged since the government began tracking the data in 1972. In last week’s jobs report, the black unemployment rate was 13.2 percent, while the white rate stood at 6.8 percent.
Discrimination has long been seen as the primary reason for this disparity, which is evident among workers from engineers to laborers. But fresh research has led scholars to conclude that African Americans also suffer in the labor market from having weaker social networks than other groups.