Black Youth Unemployment Before Democrats Started “Helping”

by | May 13, 2023

Although most people are familiar with more recent statistics on black youth unemployment, not many are aware of the black/white statistics for earlier periods. Table 3.2 (below) shows that in 1948, the two were roughly equal. For that year, blacks aged sixteen to seventeen had an unemployment rate that was less than whites of the same age-9.4 percent compared to a 10.2 percent. During the same period (until the mid-1960s), Table 3.3 shows that black youths generally were either just as active as whites in the labor force or more so. Since the ’60s, both the labor-force participation rate and the employment rate of black youths has fallen to what it is today. For those sixteen to seventeen years of age, the participation rate is less than 60 percent of that of white youths. During earlier periods, as shown in Table 3.2, the rate was equal to or higher than that of white youths.

– Walter E. Williams, Race and Economics


About Keith Knight

Keith Knight is Managing Editor at the Libertarian Institute, host of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast and editor of The Voluntaryist Handbook: A Collection of Essays, Excerpts, and Quotes.

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