Black Americans’ employment gains at risk as Fed tightens rates

Black workers have led the US state’s return to work after the Covid crisis, but economists warn that their earnings will go back as the Federal Government tries to cool the economy as consumer growth increases.

Earlier this year, rising wages and a shortage of workers drew record numbers of black workers into the labor market. Black Americans worked and looked for jobs at higher rates than white Americans in May for the first time since 1972, according to labor department data. Workers have reduced job requirements, expanded talent programs and diversified their recruitment to fill their ranks among staff shortages, providing new opportunities for historically disadvantaged workers in the process.

While unemployment and labor force participation rates for workers of color have remained relatively stable in recent months, rising interest rates and the stock market could reverse those gains. In recent months, employment has already fallen in several industries that disproportionately employ workers of color, including retail, transportation and freight.

Between September and November, categories of merchandise retailers, including wholesalers, lost 71,500 jobs, and the freight and storage industry lost 41,000 jobs. Many of these industries rely on lower wage workers, with average annual wages often running from $30,000-$50,000 in retail and merchandise.

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William Spriggs, professor of economics at Howard University and chief economist of the AFL-CIO union, said that “the momentum to stop hiring . . . is driven by unemployment because people who are unemployed cannot escape unemployment. And that hurts black workers first.

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Spriggs added, “There’s been a big recovery in black labor force participation that has really helped black workers in the last six months.” . . who departs ”

Fears about the US economy heading into recession continued to rock as H plowed ahead with the worst series of consumer increases since the early 1980s. In a bid to tackle a decade’s worth of inflation, the central bank has raised its approved policy rate from nearly zero in March to nearly 4.5 percent in less than a year. Further rate rises are expected next year, with Fed officials predicting a peak of up to 5.1 percent.

Politicians believe there is a way to bring income growth back to the H 2 percent target without major job losses and recessions – a claim many economists across Wall Street and academia argue. A recent poll by the Financial Times in partnership with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that the majority of primary economists expect a recession next year, which they warn could push the interest rate beyond 5.5 percent from its current 3.7 percent. cent.

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Hed officials mostly now predict the unemployment rate will rise 1 percentage point to 4.6 percent next year and will remain at that level until the end of 2024.

Economists and artists recognize that colors are disproportionately hurt when the unemployment rate rises, especially when the recession is even mild.

“Black Americans have never had low unemployment,” says Algernon Austin, director of race and economic justice at the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research. “The unemployment rate ranges from high to very high and to very high.”

“It’s important to recognize that the slight shift from high unemployment to very high unemployment means for black people.”

Before the pandemic — when the U.S. labor market was in good health — the unemployment rate for black Americans was nearly twice that of white and Asian adults. In 2019, it stood at 6.1 percent, compared to 3.3 percent and 2.7 percent for white and Asian adults. For Hispanic adults, it was 4.3 percent.

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At the worst of the Covid economic crisis, the black unemployment rate skyrocketed to nearly 17 percent. For white workers, it is slightly lower, at 14 percent.

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Food ministers have warned that inflation will hit even those communities hardest and that in order to return to a healthy economy they must get prices back under control. And if doing so in the near term would mean even more pain later, they argue, the central bank would be forced to force a harder-targeted economic slam.

“Without price stability, the economy doesn’t work for anyone,” Jay Powell, chair of the H, said in mid-December at a press conference. “We are not achieving strong labor market conditions that benefit everyone.”

Augustine expressed concern that other issues, such as the war in Ukraine and China’s Covid policy, which are outside H control, have a greater effect on the trajectory of inflation. He warned that the central bank was not only “unnecessarily” imposing costs on economically vulnerable people, but also that their ability to handle price pressures was already struggling.

“[Put] people will not be able to handle unemployment and inflation,” he said.


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