Last Friday, February’s jobs report was released, boasting a decrease in unemployment at 7.7 percent, which is the lowest level of unemployment in four years. What wasn’t mentioned in the report, though, was Black unemployment, which continues to be nearly double the national average. NewsOne investigated why Black unemployment rates continue to hover at astounding rates while other Americans continue to experience marked relief.
Nancy DiTomaso, a professor and vice dean for faculty and research and professor of management and global business at Rutgers Business School of Newark and New Brunswick and author, says that equality in the workplace is often obstructed by Whites’ favoritism for other Whites during the hiring process — even by those who claim to support equal opportunities.
As a result, minorities are boxed out of the job market, which is a major reason for the unyielding unemployment rate among Blacks.
According to DiTomaso, the aforementioned racial bias calls in to question whether there is a meritocratic, skill-based job market in the United States.
DiTomaso’s conclusion is based on her book, “The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism,” where she interviewed 246 randomly selected middle-class White people in Tennessee, New Jersey, and Ohio.
“Without Racism” revealed that economic racial disparities are fostered by explicit racism that plays out in everyday events, such as networking and institutionalized racial bias, which is endemic in the jobs market.
“We look too much at the issues of discrimination and racism and therefore primarily focus on Whites doing bad things to Blacks or other non-Whites, but the real dynamic in reproducing racial inequality is Whites doing good things for other White people,” DiTomaso told NewsOne.
Indeed, the unemployment figures show a disturbing trend in terms of the unemployment rate for Blacks. While the U.S. Labor Department said that employers added 236,000 workers to their payrolls in February, lowering the unemployment rate to the aforesaid 7.7 percent, the Black unemployment rate was nearly double that of Whites at 13.8 percent.