Press Releases | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI Depression-like levels of unemployment for Hispanics and African Americans

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
Contact: Karen Conner or Eve Turow, 202-775-8810

In a number of metropolitan areas, the unemployment rate for African Americans and Hispanics approached Great Depression-like levels in 2009, an Economic Policy Institute analysis finds.  The report, Uneven Pain: Unemployment by Metro Area and Race by EPI researcher Algernon Austin, examines unemployment by race in the 50 largest metro areas in the United States. 

The white unemployment rate reached double digits in four metro areas.  Unemployment rates for nonwhite populations were particularly high in three cities: Providence had a Hispanic unemployment rate of 21.4% and Detroit and Minneapolis had African American unemployment rates of 20.9% and 20.4%, respectively.

The Hispanic and African American metro unemployment rates exceeded 1.5 times the white metro unemployment rate in most of the metros analyzed.  In Providence, the Hispanic unemployment rate was double the white rate, and in Minneapolis and Memphis, the African American unemployment rate was three times the white rate.

Below is a list of state groups offering a local analysis of the findings published in this report. These state groups are part of The Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN): a network of state and regional multi-issue research, policy, and advocacy organizations. The network currently includes 56 organizations in 42 states. EARN is coordinated by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and works with a broad range of other national organizations



Children’s Action Alliance

Amy Kobeta, Vice President, (602) 266-0707


San Diego

Center on Policy Initiatives, (619) 584-5744 ext. 34,

San Jose

Working Partnerships USA

Jody Meacham, Communications Coordinator, (408) 269-7872,



Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute

Alec Harris, Policy Analyst, (303) 573-5669 ext. 316,

The Bell Policy Center

Joe Watt, Communications Director, (303) 297-0456,



Connecticut Voices for Children

Joachim Hero, Research Analyst, (203) 498-4240,



Center for Labor Research and Studies

Emily Eisenhauer, Research Associate, (305) 3481415,



The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

Yerik Kaslow, Research Associate, (312) 332-2151,



Indiana Institute for Working Families

Sarah Allen Downing, Research and Policy Assistant, (317) 638-4232,



Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute

Neil Bergsman, Director, (443) 438-2317,



JOBS NOW Coalition

Kris Jacobs, Executive Director, (651) 290-0240,



Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition

Morgan Brammer, Operations Director, (314) 531-2288,

New York


Fiscal Policy Institute

James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, (212) 721-5624,



Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada

Bob Fulkerson, State Director, (775) 348-7557,

New Jersey


New Jersey Policy Perspective

Deborah Howlett, President, (609) 393-1145 ext. 18,

New Hampshire


New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute

Jeff McLynch, Executive Director, (603) 518-4495

North Carolina


North Carolina Budget and Tax Center

Alexandra Forter Sirota, Policy Analyst, (919) 861-1468,



Oklahoma Policy Institute

David Blatt, Director, (918) 794-3944,



Keystone Research Center

Mark Price, Labor Economist, (717) 255-7158,



Center for Public Policy Priorities

Don Baylor, Senior Policy Analyst, Economic Opportunity, (512) 320-0222 ext. 108,



Center on Wisconsin Strategy

Laura Dresser, Associate Director, (608) 262-6944,



The Commonwealth for Fiscal Analysis

Patrick Getlein, Communications Director, (804)643-2474,

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