The Great Recession might be over, but it has left behind widened racial inequalities in unemployment and wealth.
The unemployment rate for white Americans over 25 who had not finished high school was 9.7 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for black Americans who had advanced further on their educational trajectories, attending but failing to graduate from college, was 10.5 percent. That’s an increase from 2007, before the recession:
U.S. Unemployment Before and After the Recession
This same trend can be seen among recent college graduates. The unemployment rate for black degree-holders between the ages of 22 and 27 was 12.4 percent in 2013. The unemployment rate among all college grads in that age range, by comparison, was 5.6 percent, according to a May report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The number was even lower for white college graduates in the age range—4.9 percent, the study’s co-author told The New York Times.
That’s a gap of 7.5 percentage points. Compare that to 2007, before the recession, when the gap was just 1.4 percent. Black Americans with college degrees then had a 4.6 percent unemployment rate, while white Americans with undergraduate degrees were at 3.2 percent, the Times notes.