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As black jobless rate soars, Year Up and partners Merck, Amazon and others offer career development

By: Sharon Epperson on Jun 5, 2020

KEY POINTS

  • The unemployment rate for black Americans rose to 16.8%, the highest level in a decade, and exceeded that of white Americans, which ticked down to 12.4% last month.
  • The unemployment rate for Latino workers, at 17.6%, topped both groups.
  • Through its job training and workforce development program, nonprofit Year Up is enabling low-income young adults of color to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year.
  • Over 250 corporations have partnered with Year Up, including Amazon, Merck, Microsoft and Bank of America.

significant gap in unemployment between blacks and whites continues even as the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the economy-wide unemployment rate improved in May. The rate for black Americans rose to 16.8%, the highest level in a decade, and exceeded that of white Americans, which ticked down to 12.4% last month, according to BLS data. The unemployment rate for Latino workers, at 17.6%, topped both groups.

Several business leaders have said this week that the gap in unemployment, as well as wages, income and wealth, between is exacerbated by an opportunity gap in education, training and workforce development.

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