As has been the case since the recession began, African American joblessness is at a higher rate than any other demographic group in the country. For November, the black unemployment rate was 16 percent, lower than September's rate of 16.1, but a good bit higher than October's rate of 15.7. For those hoping a recovery will bring those numbers down, despair; even in decent economic times -- the halcyon days of 2006 -- the African American unemployment rate averaged out at 8.9 percent. Even with a good recovery, the odds of steep decline are low, and the black unemployment rate will probably average out at a disastrous 13 percent to 15 percent for the foreseeable future. Not that many would notice; this country's astoundingly high rate of residential segregation -- seen here, in chart form -- ensures low interaction with the growing number of black poor. For instance, here is Washington, D.C., and its surrounding areas:
The red dots represent whites, the blue dots blacks, and the yellow dots Latinos. In D.C., like most of the country's metropolitan areas, black unemployment is out of sight and out of mind to the majority. And in the District's case, this extends to the elites who govern the country.
-- Jamelle Bouie
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