Free Markets, Free People


The Recession is Racist (Updated)

Just thought you should know:

While unemployment rose steadily for white New Yorkers from the first quarter of 2008 through the first three months of this year, the number of unemployed blacks in the city rose four times as fast, according to a report to be released on Monday by the city comptroller’s office. By the end of March, there were about 80,000 more unemployed blacks than whites, according to the report, even though there are roughly 1.5 million more whites than blacks here.

Across the nation, the surge in unemployment has cut across all demographic lines, and the gap between blacks and whites has risen, but at a much slower rate than in New York.

Economists said they were not certain why so many more blacks were losing their jobs in New York, especially when a large share of the layoffs in the city have been in fields where they are not well represented, like finance and professional services. But in those sectors, the economists suggested that blacks may have had less seniority when layoffs occurred. And black workers hold an outsize share of the jobs in retailing and other service industries that have been shrinking as consumers curtail their spending.

Hmm, so maybe it’s just NYC that’s racist?

“Low-wage workers and workers who lack skills are really getting hit hard,” he said. “These are the workers who are sort of fungible. They lose their jobs very quickly, particularly in retail, the people who move boxes and do unskilled work. There are large numbers of African-Americans in that sector.”

Manufacturing, which has shed more jobs than any other sector of the city’s economy, had become a mainstay for black workers, Mr. Jones said. Government jobs had also become a prime source of solid, stable work for many blacks in the city, he added. But lately there have been cutbacks there, too, as falling tax revenue has forced the paring back of budgets.

So it’s those who hire unskilled workers who are racist? This theme is confusing.

Still, Mr. Parrott’s analysis painted a stark picture of how uneven the effects have been for whites, blacks and members of other minorities. His figures show that whites gained about 130,000 jobs in the year that ended April 30 over the previous 12 months, but blacks, Hispanics and Asians all lost jobs during that period. Employment fell by about 17,000 jobs for blacks, 26,000 jobs for Hispanics and 18,000 for Asians and other ethnic groups, the data show.

“That’s a black-and-white employment picture,” Mr. Parrott said. “It’s like night and day over the 12 months. “There’s a real racial shift taking place in the city’s labor market in the past year.”

Okay, I’ve got it now. It’s white New Yorkers who are racist. Or maybe its the high-skilled labor market that’s racist? Again, I’m not sure.

But the article seems to imply pretty strongly that racism is at the bottom of this problem. Otherwise, why not mention how many of the unemployed are men, or of prime-age, or well-educated? Heck, why not mention that of the 108,000 [139,100 newly] unemployed workers in NYC [over the 12 month period between April 2008 and 2009], 61,000 [92,000] (or a little more than 56% [66%]) are white (which really makes you wonder where the 130,000 jobs figure came from)?* Obviously, the story is intended to tell us that somebody is being racist, and that’s why the “black-white gap in joblessness” is being discussed at all.

Welcome to post-racial Obamaland. If you don’t know whose fault it is, then it’s probably yours, racist.

UPDATE: Those numbers (in the sentence marked above with the *) were really bothering me. I went back and looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for New York City’s unemployment and discovered that the NYT article is way off. The number of jobs lost between April 2008 and April 2009 was 139,100, of which (according to the article) 17,000 were lost by blacks, 26,000 were lost by Hispanics, and 18,000 were lost by Asians and other races. Somehow or another, Mr. Parrott, who the article cites for the numbers, came up with 130,000 jobs gained by whites in this period. Of course, that makes absolutely no sense because, if it were true, then there would have been an increase in employment during that period, and the unemployment rate would have fallen, not skyrocketed. Instead, 139,100 people became unemployed, only 47,000 of whom were non-white. Ergo, instead of whites gaining 130,000 jobs, they lost 92,000.

There are other problems with the article as well, some of which you can discover by reading the NYT (in fact, the stories are written by the same person). For example, the story above cites low-wage, manufacturing and government workers as hardest hit, but last month the picture was just the opposite (emphasis added):

In the private work force, the weakness in May was concentrated in the fields of communications media, advertising and other information services, as well as in finance and education, according to James Brown, an analyst with the state’s Labor Department.

Those losses offset employment gains in tourism-related businesses and construction, Mr. Brown said. He said that aggressive price-cutting by hotels had kept tourists visiting and saved jobs. Construction benefited from the flow of federal stimulus funds, he added.

The latest numbers, Mr. Brown said, illustrate that New York’s economy is still contracting, despite recent fluctuations in the city’s unemployment rate, which was 8 percent in April.

“Although the unemployment rate actually dipped slightly in three of the last five months, the trend is still strongly upward,” he said. “Despite some positive notes, the city’s job market is still weak and the weakest areas — financial activities and professional and business services — will not resume growth until after the national economy improves.”

I’m sure there’s other stuff that’s wrong as well, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are a racist.

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16 Responses to The Recession is Racist (Updated)

  • Welcome to post-racial Obamaland. If you don’t know whose fault it is, then it’s probably yours, racist.

    Well I’m at a loss.
    As an employer whose employees are all non-whites (I once tried to hire a white kid, but the dickhead didn’t show), so the NYT can go f*ck itself.

    But that said, what does “post-racial Obamaland” have anything to do with it?  I’m not getting that little addage.

    Cheers.

  • If you still have a job, you’re racist.

    QED.

  • What a coincidence: I was reading that article just before coming here. The NY Slimes won’t directly say it, but you’re right, racism is the single implication of the whole piece. “Racism” is the convenient excuse when people don’t want to admit their own shortcomings.

    That Richardson is sure looking hard for a new job, sitting on a park bench. In a job climate where rational people would be happy with half a job rather than none, he ups and quits. For Pete’s sake, in a job climate where being cut to half the hours likely means everybody in that industry is suffering, he ups and quits. And these race-baiters have the gall to throw out words like “disproportionate”? A bank is supposed to throw out its managers, i.e. the ones who actually know how to run it, versus lower-wage, very replaceable workers?

    “By the end of March, there were about 80,000 more unemployed blacks than whites, according to the report, even though there are roughly 1.5 million more whites than blacks here.”

    Clearly this is whitey’s fault! The Man be keepin’ them down, yo!

    “Government jobs had also become a prime source of solid, stable work for many blacks in the city, he added.”

    Yeah, I know all about that. The transit union, like any other, is filled with workers who want generous benefits for little real work. You never saw a lazier bunch in your life, and mind you, I’m not saying it’s because the union is 70% minority. I’m just pointing out that they happen to be 70% minority. At Grand Central, I’ve watched them take literally five minutes just to change a roll of paper.

    When they went on strike in December 2005, Mayor Bloomberg said they were acting like thugs. He was immediately accused of…racism!

  • On the other hand it is NYC and NYC probably went for Obama in the 60-70% range.
    Therefore, they probably should be subjected to race based unemployment percentages.

    Let them reap what they sowed.

  • Lesson: Whitey never loses~

  • Where’s the racism?  Noting that blacks are being hurt by the recession more than whites does not imply that anyone is a racist.   Methinks you’re a tad over sensitive here, imagining claims of racism when none are made.

    • Yeah, the heavy emphasis on race is just an oh-by-the-way sort of thing, inquiring minds want to know.  Because, you know, when I read the unemployment figures I always want to know exactly which race is losing their jobs, that matters to me because, uh, I’m a….uh….not a racist, and so race matters to me.  

      We’re all equal, but it sure would be nice if I could report somthing based on the color of your skin, do you mind?

  • What do you expect? It’s the New york Times, when was the last time it was correct about anything?

  • Stop pointing out hatefacts, racist!

  • Well, race matters in society.   No social scientist would deny that there are vast differences in wealth, status, and occupation based on race.  That is simply an objective fact, and if the recession hits one racial group more than another, that is also a fact.   While one can argue that race shouldn’t be considered, that seems absurd.  Anyone with any knowledge of human history, American history, psychology and sociology would have to admit that race matters on a variety of levels.   But jumping from there to saying people are racist in the present is a bit of a jump.
    Racist was not a term used in the article.

    • Erb is part of the white power structure. Of course he would deny racism.

      • I will bet there are zero blacks and/or hispanics on the faculty of that racist institution he works at. Obvious racism, and Erb is a racist by association.

    • Ah yes. The old “World Ends Tomorrow. Women and Minorities Hit Hardest” argument.

    • Is that all it is?  Or is it yet another opportunity to stir up distrust and anger between the colors and insist on further reforms to ‘level the playing field’.
      Why present the facts this way?  The presumption being made (and particularly the gross screwing, I was going to say skewing, but screwing is more appropriate by far, of the facts behind the numbers) seems to be that minoritites are being targeted.
      Which part of (my paraphrase) ‘white folks gain 130,000 jobs and people of color lose jobs’ didn’t you get?

      His figures show that whites gained about 130,000 jobs in the year that ended April 30 over the previous 12 months, but blacks, Hispanics and Asians all lost jobs during that period. Employment fell by about 17,000 jobs for blacks, 26,000 jobs for Hispanics and 18,000 for Asians and other ethnic groups, the data show.
      “That’s a black-and-white employment picture,” Mr. Parrott said. “It’s like night and day over the 12 months. “There’s a real racial shift taking place in the city’s labor market in the past year.”
      By that standard there’s massive collusion amongst business owners and possibly government to provide jobs for whites while taking them away from minorities, how do you explain that kind of disparity otherwise? Whites gain jobs while ALL others lose them?  Assume it’s all just some kind of random chance?  Oh, no…it’s what the Reverend Wright has been preaching -  “The Man” strikes again.

      • Botched the blockquote box – it should say
         

        His figures show that whites gained about 130,000 jobs in the year that ended April 30 over the previous 12 months, but blacks, Hispanics and Asians all lost jobs during that period. Employment fell by about 17,000 jobs for blacks, 26,000 jobs for Hispanics and 18,000 for Asians and other ethnic groups, the data show.
        “That’s a black-and-white employment picture,” Mr. Parrott said. “It’s like night and day over the 12 months. “There’s a real racial shift taking place in the city’s labor market in the past year.”

        With the rest being my own observation – By that standard there’s massive collusion amongst business owners and possibly government to provide jobs for whites while taking them away from minorities, how do you explain that kind of disparity otherwise? Whites gain jobs while ALL others lose them?  Assume it’s all just some kind of random chance?  Oh, no…it’s what the Reverend Wright has been preaching -  “The Man” strikes again.
         

  • How can Blacks be losing so many jobs now that OBAMA is in charge?  Where is the change we can believe in?  We simply MUST hand-over the ownership of all capital to HIM so that we can finally believe in the change we can believe in!  It’s the only sensible conclusion from the article.