Thursday, March 08, 2007

Unemployment in the Urban US

"Though New York City is experiencing its lowest unemployment rate in recent memory, the recovery has bypassed youth. While there was a steep rise in jobholding among older New Yorkers age 55 to 64, and an increase among seniors 65 and older, young people experienced just the opposite. According to the report, not only has there not been a decline in the teen unemployment rate since a high of 28.7 percent during the recent recession, just 34.6 percent of 16 to 24 year old city residents were holding a job in 2006. The job gains among city residents above age 55 were offset by a 9.5 percentage point plunge in the share of young people age 16 to 24 that are employed."

Access the full report.

So how do we deal with this? Certainly there is a social and cultural crisis here. There are jobs but the young, particularly Black and Latino, have given up or are unwilling to enter the workforce. It's really not something that we are discussing accept in the most vile ways on AM radio with horror stories of urban youth (re Black, Latino and sometimes Asian) marauding in the mall. The Red and the Black suggests socialism, a planned economy where strategic industries are publicly held and we collectively decide what our priorities are when it comes to capital investment.

The market system does not allocate resources to the despised and wretched because humans make the final decisions about where we invest, young and dark are usually not near the top of the list. So this means that we need to make extra efforts to overcome our desires to dismiss or ignore the people we find repulsive and exotic. It costs more to educate, train and cajole groups that have historically been forcibly excluded from sharing the wealth.

And people like Hillary and Barack are certainly not up to the task on this one. Have you heard of their jobs plan?

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