A recent report has analyzed the causes and potential solutions for why Black men suffer from the highest unemployment rates of any race and gender group. Looking through Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, report author Dr. Harry J. Holzer, a nonresident senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, found that Black men had the lowest labor force participation rates among men.
“Low employment rates among Black men have no single cause, but instead reflect a range of interacting and reinforcing demographic, social, and economic factors plus adverse policy choices over time,” Holzer wrote in the report.
The report addressed four main topics concerning this negative trend: proximate causes, such as education and skill gaps; ultimate causes, such as zoning and discrimination in schools, work and housing; mediating factors, such as high mortality rates and declining marriage rates; and reinforcing long-run factors, such as involvement in the criminal justice system.
Some of his proposed solutions include investing in schools in predominantly Black neighborhoods, raising the federal minimum wage and offering early work opportunities to Black youth.