Wednesday, March 24, 2010

National Urban League Releases The State of Black America

As the National Urban League gathers in Washington, DC to discuss the state of black America they are also celebrating the 100Th anniversary of the organization. Founded with the goal of promoting civil rights and economic empowerment the 34Th edition of The State of Black America focuses on job creation and employment for African Americans.

Compared to the 2009 report in 2010 blacks have achieved a 0.6 percent increase in equality resulting mainly from increased civic engagement. For the rest of the equality measures blacks in America did not achieve any substantial increase in equality. Social Justice and economic equality remained the most disproportionate while health and education stayed the same. Economically the median household income for whites increased at a rate 7 times that of African Americans. When measuring the equality in health nearly twice as many blacks and three times as many Hispanics did not have health insurance. Blacks and Hispanics remained less likely to have a bachelor's degree than whites and minorities were still incarcerated at a rate higher than their white counterparts.

The focus of the National Urban League's report is on job creation and they outline some key areas that they feel will spur economic equality for all. The report advocates financial support to local governments and institutions to hire employees that deliver critical services with eligibility for employment based on local unemployment rates. The report also recommends that in areas where the unemployment rate exceeds the national average all loans made to businesses are capped at 1% interest. Esther Bush, President and CEO of the Urban League of Pittsburgh says one of the most critical parts of this plan moving forward is increasing opportunities for youth to find employment during the summer. Bush says that teaching good work habits to children at a young age gives them the tools necessary to succeed in the future.

One of the final recommendations the report has revolves around green jobs. The report recommends that in areas where half of the population has an unemployment rate above the state average renewable energy sectors receive zero federal income tax and zero capital gains tax if they retain half of their workforce from the local area for a minimum of three years.

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