Press Releases | Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy (PREE)

News from EPI Unemployment for African Americans in Michigan at Great Depression level

For Immediate Release: Thursay, April 28, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

The unemployment rate for African Americans averaged 23.4% in Michigan in 2010, a new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Issue Brief finds.  This rate rivals the top unemployment rates seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Distressed Michigan: Unemployment rate for African Americans more than double that of whites by Douglas Hall and Algernon Austin highlights Michigan’s severe jobs crisis.  The white unemployment rate in Michigan averaged 10.8% in in 2010; it was one of five states in which the white unemployment rate averaged 10% or higher.

The national unemployment rate for African Americans averaged 15.9% in 2010, and the national unemployment rate for white workers averaged 8.0%.  Michigan’s severe lack of jobs is particularly striking in light of the fact that Michigan has experienced population decline since 2000.