This report shows how communities of color are doing as the economy completes its third year of the recovery. It specifically highlights data on African- Americans, Asians and Latinos in comparison to white households and during the recession and recovery from 2007 to 2010 or 2011, depending on data availability. The report presents data on a wide range of economic security indicators. These include jobs, wages, and health insurance coverage as income related measures. And, it summarizes data on household wealth since savings in all of their forms — wealth, housing, and retirement — tend to be a sign of economic security.
The comprehensive data presentation leads to two broad conclusions. First, job creation remains a pressing issue for all groups, but it is of particular concern to African-Americans. The African-American unemployment rate at the end of 2011 was 15.5 percent and thus above the 14.9 percent at the end of the recession in June 2009, while unemployment rates for all other groups fell during this period. Second, communities of color generally tend to lag behind whites in many key economic security indicators, often because they have less access to good jobs. The share of African-Americans without health insurance in 2010 was 20.8 percent. The respective share of Latinos without insurance coverage was 30.7 percent. This compares to 18.1 percent of Asian Americans without health insurance and 11.7 percent of whites without health insurance in 2010.
These observations are not new but have characterized the economic situation for communities of color for decades. Communities of color can ill afford for policymakers to dither again on identifying and implementing targeted policies that will start to shrink the existing inequities.
First published by the Center for American Progress, April 12, 2012.
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