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Delaney Disturbed By Minority Employment Numbers

April 15th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

Tuesday, the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) released a report detailing the economic challenges faced by African Americans, including disparities in employment, income, housing and education. The report, Economic Challenges in the Black Community is available online here.

 

According to the report, African Americans in Maryland and around the country face significantly higher unemployment than their white counterparts, with much lower median household income and a higher poverty rate. The report follows years of effort from the Congressional Black Caucus to call attention to African American economic hardship during and after the recession.

 

Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6), a member of the Joint Economic Committee spoke at the press conference announcing the report, joining JEC Ranking Member Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Rep. G.K. Butterfield (NC-1), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and other members. Video of Delaney’s remarks available here.

 

Maryland data from the JEC report:

 

African American

White

Unemployment

8.7%

4.6%

Median Household Income

$57,900

$81,900

Poverty Rate

14.9%

6.9%

 

 

According to the report, the employment gap between whites and African Americans has grown since 2007.

 

Congressman Delaney releases the following statement:

 

“If you care about equal opportunity for all, this is a very troubling report. We’ve known about these disparities for a long time, the Congressional Black Caucus has highlighted these disparities for a long time and this report is another data point that makes it crystal clear that many of our fellow citizens are truly struggling and that some disparities are getting even worse. This includes people in Maryland, where the African-American unemployment rate is nearly twice that of whites and the median household income is barely half.

 

“I think about my own life. I grew up in a working class neighborhood in a blue collar family. My parents didn’t go to college and my dad was a union electrician. But I received a helping hand from so many people and organizations, including scholarships that helped me get a good education, which led to a rewarding career as an entrepreneur and then the privilege of serving in Congress. It is really difficult for me to read this report and then think about my own life and the opportunities that I had and feel completely good about them, because this report is more evidence that not everyone had the same chances I had. When I read this report, I see that someone like me, but who happens to be African American, is far less likely to have the same opportunities in life that I did, and that’s really disturbing. We have a moral obligation to step forward and do something about this so that everyone has a chance to live the American Dream. 

 

“I believe the single most important thing we can do to expand opportunity is to encourage new job creation and economic development. I ran a company that provided thousands of loans to small businesses across the country. And I can tell you first-hand that greater access to affordable capital is needed in the African-American community; it’s not just about helping minority business owners and entrepreneurs grow and thrive, it’s also essential to creating stronger communities, because small businesses create two out of every three jobs. We need to do even more to provide access to job creating affordable loans to small businesses in the African-American community.”

 

In 2010, Delaney’s business, CapitalSource, received the Bank Enterprise Award from the Obama Administration, a program supporting financial institutions that are dedicated to financing and encouraging economic development in distressed communities.

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