MN: Biggest Jobless Gap Between Whites and Blacks
As the economy continues its recovery and laid-off workers seek to regain employment, black Minnesotans have a much slimmer chance of getting jobs, statistically speaking.
Minnesota has the single greatest disparity between black and white unemployment among all states, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While the jobless rate among white Minnesotans was 6.4 percent in 2010, the jobless rate among black residents was 22 percent-more than three times (or 244 percent) higher.
Although there are jobless rate discrepancies between white and black populations in other states, nowhere is the contrast as prominent as it is in Minnesota.
The BLS didn't provide insight or analysis alongside its data, but the Star Tribune spoke with experts who cited several possible reasons for the disparity:
¥ The state's black population is five years younger, on average, than the black population nationally-and unemployment is higher among younger people. /> ¥ White Twin Citians are more educated than white individuals in most other metro areas; meanwhile, black Twin Citians are somewhat less educated than black individuals elsewhere. /> ¥ Fewer white Minnesotans have criminal records than whites nationally-but the opposite is true for black Minnesotans. The criminal records disparity between the two groups is four times higher in Minnesota than for the nation as a whole.
Among Minnesota's neighboring states, the jobless rate discrepancies between white and black populations were also quite pronounced.
In fact, the disparity in Wisconsin was almost as great-percentage-wise-as the one in Minnesota: The jobless rate among white Wisconsin residents was 7.6 percent last year while it was 25 percent for the state's black population.
In Iowa, meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the white population was 5.8 percent last year-and it was 13.3 percent for black residents.
The Dakotas were among several states for which the jobless rate for black residents wasn't provided in the BLS report.
Most states-including Minnesota-also had stark discrepancies between jobless rates for the white and Hispanic populations. Within the state, the Hispanic unemployment rate in 2010 was 12.3 percent.