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Links 1 through 6 of 6 by Latoya Peterson tagged recession

"Media attention has focused, understandably enough, on the "nouveau poor" -- formerly middle and even upper-middle class people who lost their jobs, their homes, and/or their investments in the financial crisis of 2008 and the economic downturn that followed it, but the brunt of the recession has been borne by the blue-collar working class, which had already been sliding downwards since de-industrialization began in the 1980s.

"In 2008 and 2009, for example, blue-collar unemployment was increasing three times as fast as white-collar unemployment, and African American and Latino workers were three times as likely to be unemployed as white workers. Low-wage blue-collar workers, like the people I worked with in this book, were especially hard hit for the simple reason that they had so few assets and savings to fall back on as jobs disappeared."

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"Based on data from the Census Bureau, the study highlights how blacks and Hispanics have been disproportionately affected by the collapse of the housing market, the financial crisis and the recession that marked the period from 2005 to 2009.

"It found that the wealth gap between white households and their black or Hispanic counterparts was the widest it has been since the government began publishing such data by ethnicity in 1984.

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"The recession from 2007 to 2009 has hit nearly all sectors and communities in the American economy, but minorities, and particularly African Americans, may have been affected the most. Jesse Washington’s recent Associated Press story about how the recession reversed many of the economic gains that took the black community many years to attain contains some grim statistics: in 2009, the average black household had only 2 cents for every dollar of wealth held by the average white household, and in April 2010, black male unemployment hit its highest point since the government began tracking it in 1972.

“'History is going to say that the black middle class was decimated,' Maya Wiley, director of the Center for Social Inclusion, tells Washington. 'But we’re not done writing history.'”

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This mess never ceases, does it?--AJP "To be sure, it's newsworthy that BWMs saw significant job losses during this recession, when previous downturns had been kinder to them. That tells us something important about the Great Recession: that its effects have been felt across the board, not just among workers who traditionally are the most vulnerable.

"But the magazine seems to argue that the job woes of the BWMs deserve more widespread concern than the job woes of other groups..."

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"Many things drive that alarming statistic. There’s the fact that African Americans as a whole are feeling the brunt of the recession more severely than other demographics. And then there’s the long list of other inequities that black youth face and that, in turn, make employment more difficult even in a good market: the high drop out rates and the uniquely aggressive policing of black neighborhoods, to name two.

"But employment opportunities appear to be sparse even for black youth who have what it should take to get a foot in the door. Among youth with bachelor’s degrees, the 2:1 gap between the black and white unemployment rates remains the same."

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"Not so long ago, Memphis, a city where a majority of the residents are black, was a symbol of a South where racial history no longer tightly constrained the choices of a rising black working and middle class. Now this city epitomizes something more grim: How rising unemployment and growing foreclosures in the recession have combined to destroy black wealth and income and erase two decades of slow progress."

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