- Written by Janet Denise Kelly
13 Sep 2011
URBAN PERSPECTIVE - The political and economic analysts claimed that President Barack Obama had to show leadership and be bold with his jobs plan. I believe everyone got what they asked for from his American Jobs Act (AJA) plan.
I must say that this aggressive plan to put Americans back to work infused some sense of hope, especially for African Americans.
African American unemployment is now at 16.7 percent and in some urban areas as high as 21 percent. The unemployment rate hasn’t been this high in nearly 27 years.
The plight of African Americans looking for work can be seen by the mass attendance at job fairs like the most recent one here in Los Angeles put on by the Congressional Black Caucus where nearly 10,000 showed up looking for work.
Depending on where you stand as an analyst or politician, African American unemployment is not a quandary. There is some acknowledgment that employer profiling effects African American unemployment. But a major factor, according to UC Berkley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, is the shrinkage of the public sector – the predominant source of employment for African Americans.
African Americans want the American Jobs Act passed now for many reasons. The infrastructure investment and rebuilding of America’s schools, transportation, and other public works will spur growth in construction and supplier trades where jobs were lost by African Americans working in factories and building trades. Minority-owned businesses will have access to contracting opportunities offered by the plan that will create more jobs. Subsidized employment will afford many who are low-skilled or displaced to learn new marketable skill sets. Public sector jobs will see some job growth.
And most importantly, African Americans want jobs now, not later.
The American Job Acts does not need any resistance or political meandering. Pass it now to put unemployed African Americans back to work!
(Janet Denise Ganaway-Kelly offers more than a decade of accomplishments in the housing and nonprofit sector. Janet brings valuable insight in the areas of community and economic development. Additionally, she brings knowledge regarding the leadership and management challenges faced by large and small nonprofits that are struggling or growing organizations. She blogs at jdkellyenterprises.org ) –cw
Tags: African Americans, Janet Denise Kelly, American Jobs Act, President Obama, jobs, employment, unemployment, UC Berkley
Vol 9 Issue 73
Pub: Sept 13, 2011