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Black unemployment hovers at record 16.2%

By Robert "Rob" Redding Jr.

Editor & Publisher

ATLANTA, July 8, 2011, 10 a.m. - Black unemployment today continued to hover at a near record high of 16.2 percent, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The rate is near the highest rate recorded for blacks during President Obama's tenure, according to department. The highest rate, since Obama took office, was 16.5 percent in March and April of 2010.

The black unemployment rate for June was 16.2 percent, the same as the May rate. The May rate was up from April's 16.1 percent, which was the largest increase since November's 16 percent.

On Thursday, members of the Congressional Black Caucus assailed Obama for his handling of the rising black unemployment rate.

"Can you imagine a situation where any other group of workers, if 34 percent of white women were out there looking for work and couldn't find it?" asked Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, the Democratic chairman of the caucus. "You would see congressional hearings and community gatherings. There would be rallies and protest marches. There is no way that this would be allowed to stand."

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Obama, the nation's first black to hold the office, has said that he will not target jobs to individual races.

Overall, national unemployment was up to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent, according to the department.

Obama addressed the rising numbers today saying that he wants Congress to do more to pass an increase in the nation's debt ceiling and other broad policy programs.

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