Obama jobs plan heartens frustrated blacks

ATLANTA (AP) ? President Barack Obama’s jobs pitch already is playing well with blacks, who had grown irked with him over what they perceived as his indifference to their needs.

While the country’s unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent, black unemployment has hit 16.7 percent, the highest since 1984.

Rep. Maxine Waters of California says a strong push by the Congressional Black Caucus for jobs in the black community had an effect on the president’s speech. Early response from blacks on the social networks was positive.

And high-profile African-Americans like Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and American Express Chairman and chief executive officer Kenneth Chenault expressed support.

Black leaders say those in the black community understand the jobs program will benefit them.