Los Angeles’ innovative “targeted local hiring” program seeks to fill 5,000 city job positions, frozen or gutted during the 2008 recession, with potential employees from communities long excluded from a cumbersome civil service process.
A recent report from the Los Angeles Black Worker Center addresses challenges facing African American workers, while offering strategies for combating unemployment and low wages. Black Worker Congress Blueprint for Addressing the Jobs Crisis focuses on information gathered from the Black Workers Rising for Justice, Jobs and Dignity congress, a gathering of workers and leaders of community and labor groups, held last September. The event, which occurred alongside the AFL-CIO national convention, gave African Americans a platform to voice concerns about labor and economic issues. Some of the report’s key findings:
The report cites some alarming statistics about the unemployment rates among blacks and whites from Steven Pitts, an economist from the University of California Berkeley Labor Center. Pitts claims that the unemployment rate for whites during the height of the recession remained below the nine percent jobless rate that African Americans faced before the recession even began.