The shrinking (black) middle class

Some sobering statistics  reported in the Chicago Sun Times …

“History is going to say the black middle class was decimated” over the past few years.

For many in the black community, job loss during this recession has knocked them out of the middle class and back into poverty.

  • In 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households.
  • By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median net worth for black households had fallen 83 percent to $2,170.
  • Blacks are overrepresented in state and local government jobs that are being eliminated because of massive budget shortfalls.
  • Since 2009, the overall unemployment rate has fallen slightly, while the black unemployment rate has risen from 14.7 to 16.2 percent — The highest rate since the government began keeping track in 1972.
  • Only 56.9 percent of black men over 20 were working, compared with 68.1 percent of white men.
  • The college-educated unemployment rate is 3.9 percent for whites and 7 percent for blacks.
  • Nearly 8 percent of African Americans who bought homes from 2005 to 2008 have lost them to foreclosure, compared with 4.5 percent of whites.

Some see a bitter irony in soaring black unemployment and the decline of the black middle class on the watch of the first black president.

* * * * *

Ken’s Take: No question, the recession has hit the lower rungs of the economy most severely.  The numbers are striking.

Note: According to Gallup, Over 80% of blacks still approve of job President Obama is doing …


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