Just look at unemployment rates. While Black unemployment has for decades exceeded that of other groups, and was notably slow to improve after the 2001-2002 recession, the gap widened noticeably during the Obama years in spite of the fact that the Federal Government, and especially the Obama Administration has de facto discrimination in favor of black employment:
In words: at the start of Obama administration (January 2009),
Of course, there’s a paradox about unemployment. When confidence is low, people give up; they stop looking for jobs. Ironically, these labor force dropouts keep unemployment rates low because they are not counted as unemployed. So employment growth is probably a better measure of economic success than lower unemployment rates.
Although it’s common to hear laments about the “widening gap” between black and white workplace experiences, the similarities between those experiences are sometimes more striking—especially in employment growth (or lack of it). The real “gap” is between blacks and whites on the one hand, and Hispanics and Asians on the other—or, effectively, between native-born Americans and immigrants.
Mass immigration is one explanation. Many of the low-skilled jobs traditionally filled by Black youths are now filled by older workers—often illegal immigrants—working at sub-minimum wages.
While these entry-level jobs didn’t pay much, they instilled a work ethic and taught skills useful in more advanced occupations.
An entire generation of Blacks may be lost to the labor force.
Footnote: Black poverty rates have exceeded the national average for years. The latest data, for 2010, show a continued deterioration. More than one quarter (27.4%) of Blacks had income below the poverty line in 2010. That’s nearly twice the national poverty rate (15.1%) and about three-times the rate for non-Hispanic whites (9.9%.)
The Black poverty rate grew by 1.6 points in 2010; the national rate rose by 0.8 percentage points.