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Current Unemployment Crisis Facing Young Adults, Particularly Young African American Men

WHEREAS, African-American men and women have been unemployed at about twice the level of white unemployment for the past 50 years; and

WHEREAS, the 2010 Census shows that young black men, when compared with young and older men of white, Asian and Hispanic backgrounds, have the lowest level of workforce participation at 57% and the highest unemployment rate at 30% (Urban Institute: The Labor Market Performance of Young black Men in the Great Recession); and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from July 2012 found that the unemployment rates for 16-24 year old men and women was White 17.9%, Hispanic 18.5%, Black 28.6% (; and

WHEREAS, the BLS data from July 2012 found that the youth labor participation rate for 16-24 year old men and women was White 62.9%, Hispanic 57.1%, Black 54.5% meaning far fewer black working age youths are in the workforce; and the January 2013 BLS data found that White unemployment for persons 16-19 years old was 22.5%, Hispanic 28.1%, and Black 33.8%; and

WHEREAS, in March 2013, Black female teen unemployment stood at 30.9% (a decrease from 38.1% in February) (University of California, Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education). For Black male teens, unemployment was 37.1% (a decrease from 48.7% in February); and

WHEREAS, disparities in employment outcomes for young black men and women are long-standing; and these labor market disparities have many causes, including discrimination and lower access to high-quality education, the dearth of jobs in neighborhoods with high percentages of African Americans, and young black males' and females' higher arrest, conviction, and sentencing rate due to unfair treatment in the justice system; and

WHEREAS, small businesses are fundamental to job growth and African­ Americans are more likely to start small businesses than any other ethnic group and African-American small businesses disproportionately fail due to lack of capital.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will work to enhance procurement equity in both the public and private sector to strengthen entrepreneurship opportunities and allow greater opportunities for African­ American owned small businesses; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People stands opposed to the labor market's discriminatory practices associated with the high unemployment and low employment rates of young adults, particularly young African-Americans, such as discrimination against individuals with criminal convictions, especially those with felony convictions, discrimination based on credit, and discrimination due to being unemployed; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP demands more educational equity and equal funding for low-income students to enable them to afford and take advantage of higher education opportunities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will advocate through the local, state and federal legislative and regulatory processes to increase the employment rate of African-Americans and will urge all of its Units to work to identify and assist young adults in particular to find employment opportunities.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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