Urban League Calls for Jobs Programs in New Report

Urban LeagueThe National Urban League released its report on the State of Black America in 2010, calling for short-term job creation programs and long-term plans to rebuild the country. At a press conference on March 24 in Washington, D.C., Urban League Executive Director Marc Morial said Black America is experiencing higher unemployment than any other racial group and called on the government to step up its pursuit of solutions.

Black unemployment stands at 15 percent, compared to 8.8 percent for Whites and 12 percent for Latinos. The median income for Blacks is $34,000 a year, compared to $55,000 for whites and $37,000 for Latinos.??The report outlines innovative steps that must be taken to move urban communities forward toward full economic and social equity. These steps include support for small businesses and the emerging green economy, education reform and expanding broadband access. ??The report presents the National Urban League?s plan for creating jobs and includes the 2010 Equality Index,? which examines African-American and Latino progress in economics, education, health, civic engagement and social justice. Authors of the report include Bernard E. Anderson, Ph.D., an expert on labor economics and human resource management; U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis; economist Valerie R. Wilson, Ph.D.; and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.?

On another note, Morial said economic fears were behind threats by right-wing groups toward Democratic members of Congress who voted for President Obama?s healthcare reform bill that was signed into law on March 23, enshrining the principle of healthcare for all Americans. Black American communities have the lowest rate of health insurance in the country, with 19 percent of their residents uninsured, compared to 10 percent for whites and 30 percent for Latinos. The disparity can be explained by the fact that health?insurance is tied to employment.??Several members of Congress have received death threats since the bill passed the House and was signed by President Obama. Three Black legislators, including human rights icon John Lewis, were spat on and called derogatory names over the weekend on Capitol Hill.