Report: In MN, jobless rate for blacks is nearly 4 times higher than whites


Minnesota has the third-highest unemployment gap between white and black people in the country – with the jobless rate among blacks almost four times higher than among whites.

The figures come from a new study by the Center for Popular Democracy, which shows that the unemployment rate in Minnesota among black resident is 3.7 times higher compared to white people.

This is second only to the District of Columbia (5.6 times) and Wisconsin (4.6 times).

The gap in Minnesota has lessened since 2007 however, when 3.85 times more black people were unemployed than white.

It also found that the jobless rate among Hispanic people is more than two times greater than for white people.

A rally will be held Thursday, WCCO reports, which will "draw attention to the racial differences between wages and jobs available" in the Twin Cities and Minnesota as a whole.

It is being organized by representatives of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), the Center for Popular Democracy and the Economy Policy Institute, and held at the NOC offices in W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis, starting at 3 p.m.

Unemployment falling, gap still wide

The significant disparity between black and white unemployment remains, even though overall unemployment has dropped in recent years thanks to the recovery of Minnesota's economy since the financial crisis.

The unemployment rate among black people across the state fell to 11.9 percent in 2014, compared to 15.4 per cent in 2007.

However, the rate among white people stood at just 3.2 percent in 2014, down from 4 percent in 2007. The report also found that the unemployment rate among Hispanics stood at 7 percent in 2014, almost the same as it was in 2007.

The unemployment gap is even worse in the metro area, with the graph above showing that the black unemployment rate is 3.89 times higher than white.

The report features a case study of 23-year-old Minneapolis resident Tyrone Raino, who told the Center for Popular Democracy the only full-time job he could find is 40 minutes outside the city, and he works there 40 hours a week while taking a further 20 hours of classes every week.

Disparity is nothing new

Minnesota regularly features among the worst states for racial unemployment gaps.

In 2013, Minnesota was second only to Wyoming according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Star Tribune reports, when the black unemployment rate was triple the white rate.

And in 2011, MPR reported on a study by the Economic Policy Institute, which found the Twin Cities along with Memphis had the biggest white-black unemployment gaps out of the nation's 50 biggest metropolitan areas.

When The Atlantic ran a piece last month lauding the metro area for its winning mix of affordability, opportunity and wealth, several publications responded by highlighting the gaps that suggest not everything is rosy in the Twin Cities.

It's not just with unemployment either. WalletHub found Minnesota has the second-worst wealth gap between white people and people of color in the United States, as well as one of the biggest gaps for home ownership levels.

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