Center for American Progress

REPORT: Weathering the Storm: Black Men in the Recession
Press Release

REPORT: Weathering the Storm: Black Men in the Recession

April 15, 2009

By Alexandra Cawthorne

Download the full report (pdf)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Center for American Progress released a report titled “Weathering the Storm: Black Men in the Recession.” The report, authored by CAP Research Associate Alexandra Cawthorne, addresses how the current recession, which has resulted in job losses not seen in almost 25 years, is affecting black men particularly hard. The current degree of job loss among black men is alarming. These losses will likely only increase as the economic crisis deepens.

To address this crisis, policymakers must address the root causes of black men’s difficulties in the labor market, including high rates of incarceration, limited education, child support arrearages, and discrimination. This report identifies key areas, including high unemployment, exacerbated labor market turmoil, and the resulting social costs, that must be addressed to reduce inequities and promote equal opportunity in the labor market, and promote access to meaningful employment opportunities for black men.

Additionally, this report offers the following recommendations for policymakers as they address this important and complex problem:

  • Combat racial discrimination by employers
  • Modernize the Unemployment Insurance system
  • Support the Employee Free Choice Act
  • Improve education and early links to the labor market
  • Support the creation of “green jobs” in low-income communities
  • Develop comprehensive re-entry services for ex-offenders

Download the full report (pdf)