The October employment numbers deepened the gloom among African Americans and those (including the Via Meadia team) who believe that the United States as a whole cannot progress as it should unless African Americans are getting ahead too. As a report from Think Progress reminds us, in October, African American unemployment rose almost a full percentage point to 14.3 percent.
As we’ve noted in earlier posts, unemployment is only part of the story. America’s Black middle class is facing a crisis of historic proportions. African Americans were among the biggest losers in the housing bubble; well intentioned but ill advised policy changes intended to get more low income families and marginal households into home ownership kicked in just in time to lure African American families into the housing market at the peak of the bubble. The loss of wealth and savings has been nothing short of catastrophic; decades of progress in building net worth for middle class and lower middle class minority families have been wiped out since 2007.