According to a recent study released by the National Women’s Law Center, Black women are the only demographic that hasn’t shown an improvement in the unemployment rates. The study shows that the even though the overall unemployment rate dropped from 7.2 percent to 6.1 percent between August 2013 and August 2014, and women’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.2 percent to 5.7 percent, the unemployment rate for Black women remained at 10.6 percent.
Where Black men were concerned, their unemployment rate fell 3 points, from 13.4 percent to 10.8 percent.
Joan Entmacher, vice president for family economic security at the NWLC, says these numbers should be a red flag. Entmacher also said one of the reasons why the rate is stagnant is because Black women are disproportionately employed in the public sector, because state and local governments have historically offered more equitable employment opportunities for women and people of color than the private sector. But the public sector is experiencing much slower job recovery than the private sector due to budget cuts.
“Public sector jobs are slower to recover because public policy has been to cut or freeze funding for all levels of government over the past few years,” she said. “After the recovery began, there was an emphasis on reducing the deficit and shrinking the government at a time when that was really damaging to the economy.”
So what are possible solutions? Although Entmacher didn’t offer any, besides placing the blame on lawmakers, Black women should and probably need to venture out and become entrepreneurs. Or even get away from the public sector all together.